A Lesson in Delta Water
When it comes to Delta water no one is better at grabbing it than the water districts surrounding it.
Nov 19, 2015
You might not have heard about Metropolitan Water District's interest in purchasing some islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. An editorial in the Contra Costa Times says "it boggles the mind that MWD G.M. Jeff Kightlinger thinks anyone will believe him when he said last week the agency's interest in purchasing four Delta islands is because if is intrigued with the potential environmental benefits."
They go on to say"it's a $200 million water grab, pure and simple, aimed at jump-starting the controversial Delta tunnels project to send as much water as possible from the Delta to 19 millioon people in L.A., Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties."
They're right, of course. But, when it comes to Delta water no one is better at grabbing it than the water districts surrounding it. Two of the biggest abusers are the Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) and the East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD). Both systems get their water from the Sierras and upstream rivers. They both divert their water through pipes and canals South and around the Delta to their customers.
Bay Area people are constantly complaining about how farmers in the SJ Valley are diverting water out of the Delta to grow food. But these same people never let their water even get to the Delta. If the Delta is so starved for water, why don't these districts let their water flow into the Delta before they take it. We guess it's not that important.
Take all this water and add it to the water San Francisco gets from Hetch Hetchy that is piped directly to them without going through the Delta and you could have a pretty good environmental benefit to Delta water flows.
So, when EBMUD and CCWD complain about MWD 'grabbing water' they are kind of like the pot calling the kettle black.
Here is a link to EBMUD's water supply. The dark blue line running South of the Delta is the Mokelumne Aqueduct. You can see their water totally bypasses the Delta. LINK
Here is a link to CCWD's water supply. The red line South of the Delta is the Contra Costa Canal. They take their water at the Old River Pumping Plant near Discovery Bay (in the center of the map) and totally bypass the Western Delta by taking it South of the Delta to their customers. LINK
Here is a link to the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System that delivers water from Yosemite to San Francisco. You can see that it is totally piped right to San Francisco without going through the Delta. LINK
Met purchase of Delta islands isn't fooling anyone, says the Contra Costa Times
For the better part of the past century, the primary interest of Southern California's mammoth Metropolitan Water District has been to secure water from any source possible to satisfy the region's thirst for growth. It boggles the mind that Metropolitan Water General Manager Jeff Kightlinger thinks anyone will believe him when he said last week the agency's interest in purchasing four Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta islands is because it is “intrigued with the potential environmental benefits.” It's a $200 million water grab, pure and simple, aimed at jump-starting the controversial Delta tunnels project to send as much water as possible from the Delta to 19 million people in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino San Diego and Ventura counties. ... ” Read more from the Contra Costa Times here: Met purchase of Delta islands isn’t fooling anyone
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