Monday, January 5, 2009

Peripheral canal update

If you're secure in thinking that a peripheral canal will be defeated again because it went down in flames in the 1980s — you might want to rethink that.

The chairman of a committee tasked with finding a solution for the state's water problems says that a peripheral canal can be built without the consent of voters or lawmakers.

"We already have that authority," says Mike Chrisman.

The news comes much to the delight of those in Parts Previously Unwatered, who are ramping up the campaign for a canal without actually bothering to explain its perceived benefits.

So excuse me if those of us living in the Delta whip ourselves into "hysteria" and don't take at face value the blanket statement, "any comprehensive plan will have to include a way to bring water around the Delta." But it's easy for water-thirsty regions to advocate the continued plunder of someplace far, far away.

Finding a solution to California's water problems doesn't need to devolve into regionalism. I've said time and time again, all Californians have a stake in what happens to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The whole state is in this together, and that means folks in both Northern and Southern California need to think about concessions.

Of course, when you can bypass the bargaining table and just grab what you want, why bother?

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