[env-trinity] [FOTR] Fresno Bee Water Editorial

Jay_Glase at nps.gov Jay_Glase at nps.gov
Tue Dec 20 08:13:39 PST 2005

I'm still amazed that there are communities without water meters in this
country.  Can anyone explain the logic here?  I live 15 minutes away from
10% of the planet's available fresh water (not bragging, just putting
things in perspective), and I have a water meter at my house.  Why are
water meters not an everyday fact of life in Fresno?

cheers everyone,
happy holidays and happy winter

Jay Glase
Great Lakes Area Fishery Biologist
National Park Service
(906)487-9080 x27

|         |           Tim McKay <nec at northcoast.com>     |
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  |       cc:       (bcc: Jay Glase/Omaha/NPS)                                                                                    |
  |       Subject:  [env-trinity] [FOTR] Fresno Bee Water Editorial                                                               |

Editorial: Water at the forefront; State's needs are growing, answers
are few. That must change

Fresno Bee - 12/18/05

Barely a day goes by without a new story emerging about water, and
that's been true for all of California's history.

Last week, it was fears about the quality of water supplies in poorer
rural communities in the Valley. Residents of towns like Parlier,
Mendota, Alpaugh and Raisin City often live with brackish brown tap
water because they have neither the local resources nor the political
clout to fix things.

Before that we were reading about concerns over water that will limit
residential growth in the nearby foothills. The Fresno County Board
of Supervisors has taken steps to limit development in the Shaver
Lake area.

We've been treated to the long-running legal pas de deux between
environmentalists and farmers over San Joaquin River water from
Millerton Lake - a hit show that's still running.

The deterioration of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta - the
linchpin of California's complicated plumbing system - continues
apace, although you wouldn't know it from the apparent indifference
or ignorance of many of our elected leaders.

In the meantime, climate changes may radically alter the cycles of
snow, spring melt and percolation into the massive aquifer that is
our principal source of water in the Valley - or maybe not. Is this
an El Niño year, or is his sister, La Niña, on her way? And do they
have any cousins we haven't met yet?

Population growth continues the upward pressure on demand for water,
and not just any water, but water people can drink safely.
Municipalities and private residents alike have to drill deeper and
deeper to reach potable water in the Valley, and that costs more.
We're using up the aquifer faster than nature can replenish it.

And we still haven't got water meters up and running in Fresno.

We've got to get a handle on these problems or we will find ourselves
one day without sufficient water for all the fields and orchards, the
shops and factories, the homes and lawns. We won't have enough to
drink, much less bathe. But how?

Part of the problem is that authority over water matters is spread
over a wide and tangled web of bureaucracies. Federal, state and
local agencies each have a piece. Dams, lakes, rivers, canals and
private wells are all lodged under different roofs. And groundwater
isn't regulated at all.

Getting all those varied and sometimes contentious people to the same
table is difficult. Getting them to actually solve problems is even
harder - witness the excruciatingly painful "progress" of the Cal-Fed
process, an attempt to bring federal, state and local interests all
to the same page on water issues. It's been years in the works and is
barely breathing most of the time.

But we have to make the effort. Valley representatives in Washington,
D.C., and Sacramento must find ways to collaborate in this effort. In
the meantime, people at the grass roots should be pushing their
leaders to action. New solutions must be found, and some old ones may
bear a fresh look.

Conservation is crucial, but it may also be time for new storage
facilities - groundwater banking, for instance. Perhaps even new dams
should be on the table, despite their tremendous cost and
environmental impacts.

Our old ways aren't going to work forever. Issues of water quality
and quantity affect us all, as we have begun to learn about air
pollution. A new year offers us a chance to get busy on new ways of
doing things. Let's not waste it.

Byron Leydecker

Chair, Friends of Trinity River

Advisor, California Trout, Inc

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810 ph

415 383 9562 fx

<mailto:bwl3 at comcast.net>bwl3 at comcast.net

<mailto:bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org>bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org



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