The march to build a system to move massive amounts of water around the Delta continues. The goal is to build a peripheral canal (also referred to as a tunnel or conveyance) so that fresh water will be available to meet the seemingly never-ending needs of big agriculture and Southern California real estate interests.
Governor Jerry Brown, in his recent State of the State address, seemed to go out of his way to justify building a peripheral canal. He emphasized his commitment to fast-tracking its construction. The Governor even personalized the pitch by saying that “this is something my father worked on and then I worked on—decades ago. We know more now and are committed to the dual goals of restoring the Delta ecosystem and ensuring a reliable water supply.” Dan Bacher, who has been reporting on water, fish, and ecosystem issues for years, pointed out in a recent story that “ironically, the theme of (Brown’s) speech was California on the Mend.” Delta advocates oppose the construction of the peripheral canal because it will, among other things, lead to the extinction of Central Valley fish species including Sacramento River Chinook salmon and many others.
Salmon Water Now agrees with Bacher that the canal won’t “mend” imperiled Central Valley salmon and Delta fish populations. It is very hard to see how it would not exacerbate the ecosystem collapse caused by record water exports from the Delta in recent years. But those pushing for ever more amounts of water want what they want. Kill the Canal, a new video from Salmon Water Now, is a three-minute look at the canal and what we believe are very good reasons to stop it from being built. The canal would be a massively expensive construction project at a time when California is suffering from huge budget problems. It does not seem that the current plans will help the Delta or help the people and communities who depend on having healthy runs of wild salmon. But it will help the Westlands Water District, billionaire “farmer” Stewart Resnick, and plenty of real estate developers. If they get their way, they’ll be very happy. A little sarcasm never hurts. Salmon Water Now is one of many voices that would like to put the brakes on the march to build a peripheral canal. We’d like to see a spirited discussion about this issue and there is plenty to talk about. We encourage the sharing of our Kill the Canal video as a way to stimulate a lively debate.