[env-trinity] Trinity Journal Editorial-Trinity River faces continuing challenges

Tom Stokely tstokely at att.net
Wed Jun 1 10:42:45 PDT 2011

Trinity River faces continuing challenges


House resolution a danger to river, wrong in so many ways
A fter years of seeing excessive amounts of water shipped to the Central Valley, Trinity Lake and the Trinity River are facing a new challenge in the form of House Resolution 1837, the San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act.

Sponsored by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Visalia, the bill aims to provide San Joaquin Valley farmers a steady and consistent stream of water for their fields. Unfortunately, in doing so the bill seeks to roll back water quality protections and water rights laws.

It’s hard to see the bill as anything but a blatant power grab to provide guaranteed water to those who right now possess only junior water rights while exempting those exports from state and federal laws enacted to ensure a fair distribution of water.

Equally disturbing would be the rollback of water quality rules and Delta restoration efforts, further hurting any chances of reviving a dwindling salmon population. Opponents point out that it will cost millions of dollars and destroy jobs throughout Northern California, Oregon and Washington states because of its impacts on the commercial and recreational fishing industries and surrounding communities. Likewise, the bill dynamites state water right protections, including tribal trust obligations (including those to the Hoopa Valley tribe), and elevates those with junior water rights to the front of the line.

All that water has to come from somewhere. Anyone want to bet they won’t be looking at increasing Trinity River exports to the Central Valley?

The bill was referred to the House Subcommittee on Water and Power on May 24. That would be a good place for it to die.

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