Category Archives: Bay Delta Conservation Plan

Water Issues on the Ballot in the 2016 Election

With Election Day upon us, are you getting voter fatigue? If so, you are not alone. In a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted between October 28th and November 1st, one question asked, “Has the 2016 campaign made you feel more excited, disgusted, or neither?” An overwhelming 82% of respondents said that the 2016 campaign cycle made them feel more “disgusted,” with only 13% saying the election made them feel more “excited.” Also, the poll is telling because only 3% were undecided by answering “neither.” Regardless of your political affiliation, this has been a long and divisive campaign cycle. We have witnessed much drama at the top of the ticket, from Donald Trump’s “locker room talk” to the multiple FBI reviews of Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server. These issues as well as the in-fighting within the Republican Party which escalated when House Speaker Paul Ryan told fellow House Republicans in early October that he would spend the last month before the election “focused entirely on protecting our congressional majorities” have distracted the American public from some of the real challenges that our nation faces. Continue reading

Eminent Domain and the BDCP

Rick’s Café Californian

Pic

California’s water world is abuzz with the revelation that the BDCP involves acquisition of land parcels for the project’s diversion facilities and 30-mile twin tunnels, either by acquisition or by Eminent Domain.   As Rick Blaine (aka Humphrey Bogart) stated in Casablanca, “I’m shocked.  Shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.” Continue reading

The Dwindling Delta Smelt Population: What does it mean for the species and humans that rely on the Delta?

The drought in California unfortunately continues unabated. According to the most recent US Drought Monitor, 41.41% of the Golden State remains in exceptional drought. Much of the land area in the Central Valley and major population centers such as Los Angeles remain stuck in the exceptional drought category. Only about .15% of the state’s land area is drought free, about 245.5 square miles by my calculations. As you can see from the map below, the only area of the state that is designated as drought free is a rural area of southeastern San Bernardino County, generally between Lake Havasu and Parker, AZ. Continue reading

Is BDCP a Doable Deal Redux—Part 2

After reading the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission’s study (“CDAIC Study”) on Bay Delta Conservation Plan (“BDCP”) financing considerations and risk, State Water Project (“SWP”) contractors and (especially) Central Valley Project (“CVP”) contractors should take a fresh look at the financial realities of relying on the BDCP. Unlike the study’s discussion of BDCP affordability,  which was marred by economic flaws, the study offers a useful discussion of financing and risk that water agency board members should consider as part of their fiduciary duty in making BDCP decisions.

The study makes a good first step in scratching the surface of risk assessment of the BDCP. Prudence requires more risk assessment. Continue reading