Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Delta pumps power down, a bit

Looks like federal regulators have decided to export a little less water out of the Delta because of the presence of the endangered Delta smelt, diluting the effect of a judge's decision on the eve of the weekend.

That's measured good news for Delta defenders. Not to mention the fish.

But treating pumping levels as something that can be changed on a day-to-day basis just because of the presence of a fish makes it far too easy to miss what should be the real debate we should be having about the Delta.

Namely, that you cannot extract infinite resources out of a finite resource. The Delta, being one of those aforementioned finite resources, cannot be tapped forever at increasing rates.

We can continue to plunder/protect the Delta in cycles depending on the presence of a fish if we want. But that won't save the fish or its ecosystem.

If we want to protect the Delta — for farmers, fishermen and, yes, the wildlife — it will take a more determined and cohesive plan than what we've seen so far.

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