Friday, February 27, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Water, water: Who’s got the water?

faison column sig

By
From page A10 | March 09, 2014 |

Reporter Barry Eberling this week wrote about the various proposed water bonds that are making their way through the California Legislature.

To recap, there are nine, not counting the granddaddy of them all, approved five years ago but twice kept off the ballot. The one with the most traction to date is from our own Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis. All are smaller in scope – and cost – than the bond that’s already approved for this year’s ballot.

The simple answer to the question I pose above is: No one has the water. We’re in the midst of a severe drought – recent rainfall notwithstanding – and coming off the driest year in recorded history for our region.

Yet, the struggle of competing interests remains. Northern California wants to preserve as much water as possible in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, to meet certain environmental concerns but also to preserve the character of the region. Farmers in the Central Valley need it to feed all of us. Residents of Southern California simply want to have enough water to drink, to bathe and to maintain their local economies.

All of these competing concerns were addressed when the Legislature in 2009 passed an $11.1 billion water bond and scheduled it for the next year’s ballot. That bond, you may recall, was pulled off the ballot in the immediate aftermath of the Great Recession, and was pulled again in 2012 so as not to compete with the temporary sales tax and income tax hike represented by Proposition 30, which voters approved.

Leaders in both political parties expressed opinions Feb. 19 about the viability of the massive water bond. They did so during questioning by journalists at the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s annual Governmental Affairs Day in Sacramento.

Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, said any water bond that goes before voters this year will be “significantly different” from the Legislature-approved water bond that’s scheduled for the ballot.

Senate GOP Leader Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, said the original water bond was an attempt at political balance in terms of the state’s geography, but also in weighing the interests of both ag and urban areas. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, added water reliability and environmental stewardship as among the original water bond’s co-equal goals.

Assembly GOP Leader Connie Conway, R-Tulare, acknowledged that there are many water bond proposals on the table – including hers – but expressed some frustration that the state has not done anything in recent years that may have blunted the effects of the current drought.

Conway represents a Central Valley district with a significant agricultural base. Her eyes, though, remain focused in part on Northern California.

“We need to honor and protect the Delta,” she said.

That’s good to hear, but not altogether surprising.

I’m familiar with Conway from my time as editor of the paper in Porterville, prior to the move to Fairfield four and a half years ago. I lived nearby in Visalia, the county seat of Tulare County. She’s a conservative, to be sure, but not rabidly so.

For example, when asked how the GOP can revive itself in California, Conway went right to the heart of the matter. She said the issue she sees for her party is one she’s seen since she became GOP leader four years ago – intracaucus struggle.

“(W)e have the strident folks, and we have the reasonable adults,” she said.

That internal struggle remains, she said, although the party’s new chairman is working to position the GOP to better serve the long-term interests of the party.

That, for all of us, should include having a viable and reliable water supply. My words, although I believe Conway would concur.

Steinberg touched on that point. He said the Delta can’t be all things for all people at a time when the population is growing and the amount of available water is not – or in the case of the drought, is diminishing. He wants a detailed analysis of the true needs of the state – after such things as conservation come into play – before the state embarks on a plan to move Delta water south through some sort of new conveyance system.

It’s clear we need to do something. But are any of the 10 plans currently on the table the correct answer? I don’t know. I do know that Central Valley farmers were promised water through the Central Valley Project – which they paid for – and often lose out to Delta environmental concerns. When that happens, tens of thousands of acres of farmland sit fallow.

That’s my perspective from my years in the Central Valley. I now have a better appreciation of the Delta. That’s based on my time here.

So plans by Wolk and Conway and others to put something with less of a debt kick on this year’s ballot sounds like the correct approach, so long as the goals are clearly articulated to meet the needs of as many people as possible.

Reach Glen Faison at 427-6925 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GlenFaison.

Glen Faison

Glen Faison

Glen Faison joined the Daily Republic as managing editor in September 2009. He previously worked as a reporter and editor for daily and weekly newspapers in the San Joaquin Valley for 20-plus years. His experience includes time as editor of the Golden Eagle, a military paper serving the Lemoore Naval Air Station. He graduated from Fresno State University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and bleeds Bulldogs red. He is an avid Washington Redskins fan, and attended the 1988 NFC Championship Game against the Minnesota Vikings at RFK Stadium. He married his wife, Jill, in 2005, and has three children: Courtni, Tyler and Hayli.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Fairfield mayor ready to share a whale of a tale

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1, 2 Comments

 
Nonagenarian recounts life as spy in World War II

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
 
Republican women to hear about immigration reform

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

2-day event will focus on bullying prevention

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
 
 
Wolk to chair committee on state’s wine industry

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
Kaiser offers Capoot scholarships

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

Fairfield police log: Feb. 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Feb. 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Llamas on the loose trends on Twitter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Two inured in hazmat explosion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

No charges yet for train crash truck driver

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Not guilty plea for suspect in Hollywood exec murder

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
After 67 years of marriage, couple dies holding hands

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Missing 400-year-old Italian books found in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Sacramento man pressured to remove swastikas

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

Feds: 3 accused in Islamic State plot vocal about beliefs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Saudi man convicted of conspiracy in ’98 US embassy bombings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Panel: Use new meningitis vaccines only for outbreaks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
House GOP weighs new approach on Homeland Security

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Vandalism in Arizona shows the Internet’s vulnerability

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Prosecutor: Mom craved attention, poisoned child with salt

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Ukraine, rebels start pulling back heavy weapons in the east

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
‘Jihadi John’ raised in UK, studied computers, reports say

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Feb. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Feb. 27, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Feb. 27, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
I’m worried about how my wife’s erratic behavior is affecting our kids

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Feb. 27-March 5, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Custom dress Lupita Nyong’o wore at Oscars reported stolen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Conan O’Brien takes his show to Cuba for a special hour

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: Smith, Robbie pour on the charm in sharp ‘Focus’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP Exclusive: Redmayne lends voice to “Thomas & Friends”

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
ABC’s Sawyer does prime-time prison special

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Q&A: Writer-director-actor Mark Duplass is a busy guy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Actor Will Patton charged with DUI in native South Carolina

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment Calendar: Feb. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
Tea Leoni in a happy state as star of ‘Madam Secretary’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Graceland brings Elvis back to his Las Vegas home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Sports

LeBron scores 42, Cavs beat Warriors for 18th win in last 20

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
 
A’s begin baseball’s mandatory domestic violence training

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Earthquakes set to open new MLS stadium

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
LeBron not happy colleges recruiting 10-year-old son

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

IOC member, once critical of Rio, now sees ‘great progress’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Judge rules for Peterson, opening door for reinstatement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Herman survives windy day; McIlroy stumbles at Honda Classic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Roberts, NBA writers open discussion over locker room access

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

IOC relaxes rule on athletes and sponsors during Olympics

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Nevada gambling regulators sign off on Olympic betting

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Video shows Hernandez dancing near gas pump before killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Kings’ Collison to have surgery, re-evaluated in 3-6 weeks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

AP source: 49ers to bid to host college football title game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Bulls say Rose to have surgery on Friday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
NASCAR back on track for extra day of testing in Atlanta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

No word on possible MLB discipline for Angels star Hamilton

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Giants closer Casilla hit on shin during batting practice

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Business

Volkswagen Jetta is a pleasure to live with, not just to gawk at

By Washington Post | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
5 things to know about ‘net neutrality’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Regulators approve tougher rules for Internet providers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Strong reliability scores should help Buick brand’s rebirth

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Nissan executive known as ‘father of the Z’ dies at 105

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Applications for US jobless aid rise to 313,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Google looks for more revenue from ads in Android app store

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Walmart CEO wading through mounting issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Pew study: Americans still stressed despite improved economy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Facebook allows users to ‘fill in’ gender option

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment

Medical marijuana passes tough first hurdle in Utah

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

Donald Grimm

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9