[env-trinity] SF Chronicle 7-2-2010

Byron Leydecker bwl3 at comcast.net
Fri Jul 2 09:12:26 PDT 2010


Scrap California water bond proposition


Mark Schlosberg

San Francisco Chronicle July 2, 2010 04:00 AMCopyright San Francisco
Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.Mark Schlosberg is the national
organizing director for the consumer advocacy nonprofit Food & Water Watch

Friday, July 2, 2010

. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his intention Tuesday to push Proposition
18 - the $11 billion water bond - to the 2012 ballot. This delay will not
lessen the water bond's effect on our budget. It won't reduce its wasteful
spending or lessen its impact on the environment, and it certainly won't
increase its chance of passage. Rather than move it, the Legislature should
scrap it.

What is wrong with the bond, passed last year by the Legislature at the
governor's behest?

First, the bond prioritizes spending $3 billion on new dams in the Central
Valley. Water from these dams will largely benefit large agribusiness, which
could sell it for profit to developers. This is just what happened last year
when a San Joaquin Valley farm water district sold rights to approximately
14,000 acre-feet of water to the Mojave Water Agency in San Bernardino
County for $73 million. 

Second, the bond spends up to $1 billion for desalination projects - an
expensive and energy intensive process of turning saltwater into drinking
water that has adverse environmental impacts. 

Third, the bond contains $1.5 billion that is a down payment for a giant
canal to route water from the Sacramento River to the aqueducts that bring
water to the Central Valley and Southern California. Cost estimates run as
high as $50 billion. 

Fourth, even the bond's strongest supporters like Meg Whitman say the bond
contains billions in pork. 

With California facing a $19.9 billion budget deficit and cuts to education,
health, public safety and other basic services, it's no wonder polls show
only 34 percent of Californians support the bond while 55 percent oppose it.

In two years, the bond will still largely benefit large corporate interests,
still cost Californians $800 million a year, and still lead to inevitable
cuts in essential services. After the November election, the new governor
and Legislature should start fresh, promoting water policies that benefit
all Californians.

Mark Schlosberg is the national organizing director for the consumer
advocacy nonprofit Food & Water Watch 

Byron Leydecker, JcT

Chair, Friends of Trinity River

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810 land/fax

415 519 4810 mobile

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(secondary)

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