Politics Magazine

Locals Remain Wary as State Secretary Pushes Water Plan

Posted on the 16 January 2014 by Jim Winburn @civicbeebuzz

0113_newswire_water_w100_res72 BAKERSFIELD – Gov. Jerry Brown and his administration put on a full-court press this week on Brown’s plan to fix California’s water woes.

Brown himself visited several valley cities.

His plan, known as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) – available at baydeltaconservationplan.com – went on its own valley tour complete with an entourage of staffers to answer questions.

And Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency John Laird made a string of calls to members of the media.

Whether BDCP improves water supplies in Kern County, where most of our west-side farming is dependant on water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta, depends on how you look at the situation, Laird told The Californian Wednesday.

Without the plan, “… the delta will decline and water exports from the delta will continue to decline,” he said.

“We are working hard to set up a system that makes the delta reliable (for water exports) in the range of what comes out of the delta now.”

Without the BDCP, Laird said several times, things could get worse for Kern water users.

That wasn’t good enough to convince some locals that BDCP is worth its gargantuan price tag.

“There’s no defined (water) supply that we’d be buying,” explained Eric Averett, general manager for the Rosedale Rio-Bravo Water Storage District.

“We’d be buying protection that our water wouldn’t diminish, but there is no guarantee that it wouldn’t,” he said.

Rosedale is so dismayed by the lack of assurances in the BDCP it likely will not continue putting money into the planning phase come March or April when the next round is due.

And without a drastic change to the plan itself, Rosedale likely won’t pony up for the biggest ticket item, the twin tunnels.

Several other Kern water districts have also opted not to continue funding the planning phase and are mulling whether to opt out of the twin tunnels as well.

Full story by Lois Henry at bakersfieldcalifornian.com.

* * *

Draft environmental documents for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan can also be accessed at baydeltaconservationplan.com.

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