Tuesday, September 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Drought complicates already dicey water politics

walters column sig

By
From page A13 | February 05, 2014 |

A crisis, it’s been said, is a terrible thing to waste.

Economist Paul Romer originated the aphorism a decade ago, but it’s since entered the political lexicon.

California is facing a water crisis, the third – and by far the worst – year of drought, with the all-important Sierra snowpack just 12 percent of normal and man-made reservoirs drawn down to historically low levels.

Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a drought emergency, and local water purveyors up and down the state have imposed stricter conservation measures.

Last week, state water officials dropped projected deliveries to agricultural and municipal agencies south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to zero for the first time, and instituted emergency procedures to protect the Delta from saltwater intrusion.

The situation’s only bright spot is that Southern California water agencies, having constructed more storage in recent years to counter erratic deliveries from the north, and tightened up conservation measures, are in fairly healthy condition to ride out the drought.

By happenstance, the drought occurs just as politicians are engaged in one of their periodic attempts to stabilize California’s water supply, and the crisis adds another dimension to already dicey water politics.

The state incessantly debates whether rising water demands – the vast majority from agriculture – should be met mostly by constructing more reservoirs and conveyances or through stricter conservation.

Broadly, big water agencies and users – known colloquially as “water buffaloes” – advocate the former and environmentalists the latter. But Brown and other politicians are all over the map.

Coincidentally, Brown’s administration just published a white paper that embraces both major remedies, but is not specific on what should be done. And with water, the devil is very much in the details.

Brown wants to build twin tunnels to bypass the environmentally troubled Delta and improve stability of shipments southward, but faces very stiff opposition.

There are at least four water bond proposals floating around the Capitol, to replace one already on the 2014 ballot. But they vary widely in details, with additional reservoirs and the tunnels the major issues, and Brown, prior to declaring a crisis, had implied he doesn’t want any bonds on the ballot as he seeks re-election this year.

Meanwhile, what’s happening, or not happening, in the state Capitol is reflected in wrangling within California’s very fragmented congressional delegation over how the feds should respond both to the drought and longer-term water supply issues.

Every faction in water politics may see the crisis as an opportunity to advance its larger cause, but it could just as easily mean a continuation of a perpetual political stalemate.

Dan Walters is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee. Reach him as dwalters@sacbee.com.

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

 
Weather for Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

Police investigate deadly Vallejo shooting

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
 
 
Police report missing man was found

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
Support group to host domestic violence event

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A5

 
Lake Berryessa hike set in October

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
Work scheduled for Rio Vista Bridge

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

.

US / World

California wildfire crews brace for weather shift

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
LA County sheriff’s deputies testing body cameras

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Bear suspected to have killed New Jersey hiker

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Poll: Support for gay marriage may be leveling off

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Islamic State militants kill 40 Iraqi troops

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Sierra Leone, Liberia brace for new Ebola cases

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Islamist group kidnaps Frenchman in Algeria

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

Pennsylvania governor confident ambush suspect will be caught

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Focus on UVa employee in student’s disappearance

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

State police: 3 missing Afghan soldiers in custody

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Prosecutor: 800 rounds found in intruder case

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Islamic State offensive poses problems for Turkey

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Study links changing winds to warming in Pacific

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Crews work to clear debris from Shasta mudslide

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Editorial cartoon for Sept. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page:

 
Still searching for the bottom in Iraq

By John M. Crisp | From Page: , 1 Comment

Academia needs to act to protect college women

By Dan K. Thomasson | From Page:

 
Question of the week: Will the drought end this year?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
Horoscopes: Sept. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

Kris Jenner files to divorce Bruce Jenner

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Alaska TV reporter quits on air to promote pot

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Shonda Rhimes lays claim to Thursday nights on ABC

By Frazier Moore | From Page: | Gallery

 
Giuliani to help fight Noriega’s video game suit

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

‘The Lion King’ earns record box office

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Eric Lynch, Howard Stern’s diminutive foil, dies

By The Associated Press | From Page:

TVGrid Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Giants get closer, beat Dodgers 5-2 in 13 innings

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Prep boys water polo: Mustangs go 3-0 in Dixon tourney

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Prep boys soccer: Mustangs hold Indians to 0-0 draw

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
MNF: Bears hold on to beat Jets 27-19

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Jeff Samardzija pitches A’s past Angels 8-4

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Nebraska’s Abdullah: Jameis Winston must grow up

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders have to settle for moral victory

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Home of 49ers lineman Ray McDonald burglarized

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Undisciplined play sends 49ers to 1-2 start

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Kicking game: It is called football, after all

By Barry Wilner | From Page:

US Soccer stands by Solo decision

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
FIFA ethics judge hesitates on World Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Braves fire GM Frank Wren after missing playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Royals beat Indians 2-0, gain on Tigers

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Bettman says NHL proactive about off-ice conduct

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Silver: NBA will review domestic violence policies

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Concern over McIlroy, McDowell more about results

By The Associated Press | From Page:

NFL vetting process: There are no sure things

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Owner: ‘No misinformation’ by Ravens on Rice

By The Associated Press | From Page:

This date in sports history for Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Kent creates scholarship for Cal women’s athletics

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Business

Treasury to unveil steps to curb tax inversions

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Tesco suspends execs over inflated profit report

By The Associated Press | From Page:

GM expert says 21 deaths eligible for compensation

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Apple: 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sold

By The Associated Press | From Page:

US existing home sales fall in August

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Investors fret Yahoo’s future, stock dips

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Businesses and investors pressing for green policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Garfield Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Cryptoquote Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Zits Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Bridge Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Pickles Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
B.C. Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6