Wednesday, September 17, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Brown’s canal proposal bad plumbing: Garamendi

By
From page A4 | January 27, 2013 |

Rep. John Garamendi on Saturday blasted the proposal to build two tunnels through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta touted by Gov. Jerry Brown in his State of the State Address.

“That’s not a water plan, that’s a plumbing system — and a very, very bad one,” said Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, before about 300 people at the ninth-annual California Water Symposium at UC Davis.

“Don’t ever build something that has the potential for destroying something so special, so valuable as the largest estuary on the west coast, which is the Delta. We need to move beyond just a plumbing system. We need to think about what California really needs.”

Speaking on Thursday, Brown said an earthquake, a 100-year storm or rising sea level could be disastrous for the state, with losses of $100 billion and 40,000 jobs.

His proposal: two tunnels 30 miles long, from Clarksburg to Tracy, and 40 feet wide paired with 100 square miles of habitat restoration.

“Yes, that is big but so is the problem,” Brown said.

Estimated cost: $14 billion, which the governor noted was about the cost of the London Olympics.

“I told Gov. Brown, ‘If you are successful, it will be two decades before you get a gallon of water through your tunnels,’ ” Garamendi said after his keynote address. “First of all, you’ve got 10 years of lawsuits — guaranteed. Then you’ve got 10 years of construction. So what are you going to do in the meantime?”

Added Garamendi during his speech, referring to voters rejection of the Peripheral Canal Act, “We beat Jerry Brown in ’82, and we’ll beat him this time if necessary.”

Garamendi said he planned to introduce in two to three months legislation that would put federal agencies on the same page when it comes to the state’s water.

His envisions a comprehensive water plan, similar to one put forth by the environmental nonprofit the National Resources Defense Council, for the state that includes recycling, conservation, increased water storage, Delta levee repair and river management guided by the latest science.

His approach would be cheaper, he said, and would generate quicker results.

“Why would you transport water 500 miles (south), clean it, use it once to a higher standard than the day it arrives, and dump it in the ocean? That’s what we do. We need to think differently about water,” he said.

He said that he believed 2 million acre feet of “new” water can come from recycling and conservation. By comparison, the congressman said, “The twin tunnels give you zero new water — not one gallon of new water comes from the tunnels.”

Garamendi said new water storage is needed both south and north of the Delta. “Storage facilities in Southern California have a greater capacity than Shasta Reservoir. Most of them are not used because they are contaminated, but they can be cleaned,” he said.

Without more storage, the increased water pumped south would be largely wasted, the congressman said:

“Some of the terms that are being used by some of my environmental friends are ‘big gulp and little sip.’ You’ve got a lot of water, you take a big gulp, but where are you going to put it?”

North of the Delta, the proposed Sites Reservoir in Colusa County, shows promise for increasing flexibility along the Sacramento River, he said. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has deemed a proposal to increase the size of Lake Shasta by raising Shasta Dam feasible, but the plan has been more controversial.

Garamendi favors a smaller Delta facility than Brown — perhaps 3,000 cubic feet per second capacity, compared to 15,000 cubic feet per second for the governor’s plan.

“A quick look at the water flow of the Sacramento River over the past two decades would tell you that for approximately six months of the year there is somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 cubic feet per second on the Sacramento River flowing past Freeport. And you’re going to build a 15,000 cubic feet per second facility and not destroy …?”

Garamendi trailed off and shook his head.

He’s also calling for the Bureau of Reclamation and Department of Water Resources to better maintain Delta levees that protect the water system, agriculture and homes. For decades, he said, they’ve relied on local agencies for upkeep or state and federal agencies if there’s flooding.

The congressman said a study of the American River basin will soon provide a better ability to manage flood capacity and protection on that river. That should be done for every river in the state, he said, rather than the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s method of controlling water based on 50-year precipitation and flow numbers.

The UCD School of Law hosted Saturday’s symposium.

Comments

comments

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
.

News

A pot o’ gold for Rainbow City revival

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Marsh trial guilt phase enters home stretch

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

 
New water rates take effect in November

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
Three women stuck in Putah Creek while paddleboarding

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A2

Bob Dunning: News about our modest college town

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

 
Crews battle wildfire’s explosive growth

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Weakened Odile heads toward U.S.; tourists evacuated

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Storyteller will draw on music, dance

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Show off your electric vehicles on Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Learn about youth leadership program on Sept. 28

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sign up now for free Community Yard Sale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
AAUW hosts conversation with Gilardi

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Master Gardeners will answer questions Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sign up soon for a new year of Writing Buddies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Register to vote by Oct. 20

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Saylor meets constituents at Peet’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Free introductory yoga, chanting workshop offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rotary seeks project requests

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Senior Center to host jewelry sale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
.

Forum

Time to go get help

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Please vaccinate your children

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
Mental-health treatment lacking

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Braly’s column lightens the heart

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Bicycle bells needed for safety

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Are we going to wait until someone here dies?

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

 
Firefighters went above, beyond

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Grocery bags are biohazards

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Can’t we work collaboratively?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Formidable UCD defense melts Hornets

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils go the distance to triumph at Chico

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UCD women take third at elite golf event

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Aggie men stay in 10th to finish St. Mary’s Invite

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Sounders win U.S. Open Cup in overtime

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B2

 
Diamondbacks slam Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Baseball roundup: Peavy, Posey lead Giants past Arizona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Legacy roundup: Gunners get a win over Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

AYSO roundup: Ultra Violet illuminates a victory

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Alliance roundup: Soccer success comes on the road and at home

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Features

Name Droppers: Bamforth leads international brewing institute

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Name Droppers: UC Davis announces eight new fellows

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Just desserts? A sweet treat is worth the effort

By Julie Cross | From Page: A10

 
.

Arts

Apply now for Davis Community Idol

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Davis students prepare dishes for Empty Bowls fundraiser

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Nine Davis artists chosen to show in KVIE Art Auction

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Sacred Harp singers will gather

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Classic ‘Hello, Dolly!’ wows at Woodland Opera House

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, September 17, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A8