The New Proposed California 2014 Water Bonds, By J – Updated 6-24-2014
The fight continues in California to get seven multibillion dollar Water Bond Bills on the ballot by June 26. Two of the extremes are discussed here along with an overview of ‘sustainable development’, which is a primary driver being used by stakeholders to control water in the state.
“Theory says if CO2 levels go up; then, temperatures go up. Mother Nature didn’t get the memo. CO2 levels up; temperatures have been in stasis for 17+ years. We hate it when that happens but when it does science says: modify or abandon the theory because as it stands it is wrong.”
That did not stop legislators in the great state of California from passing the two ‘global warming bills – AB 32 (2006) and SB 375 (2008) that are destroying the state under the guise of ‘sustainability and sustainable development’.
State republican representatives must not read their own party platform or resolution(s) memos from local Republican Central Committees. Sustainable development, aka U.N. Agenda 21, has been identified as a major problem by these entities. For example, the Republican Central Committee of San Bernardino passed a resolution exposing elements of U.N. Agenda 21 on 3-27-2012 “… United Nations Agenda 21 plan of radical so-called “sustainable development” views the American way of life of private property ownership, single family homes, private car ownership and individual travel choices, and privately owned farms; all as destructive to the environment…” The 2013 and current platform of the GOP states on page 45, “…“We strongly reject the U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of American sovereignty.”
The American Coalition for Sustainable Communities (ACSC) defines sustainable development: Sustainable Development (SD) is government influenced development, which uses science, politics and consensus to predict future needs and create present-day planning schemes; therefore, it is preemptive in nature and promotes centralized planning. SD appeals to the influence of unelected agencies, regional boards, bodies, commissions, and public-private partnerships. This can have unintended consequences. It can undermine local elected official’s authority, and ultimately local control. A primary driver of SD is taxpayer funded grants. Grants, through specific terms and conditions, often usurp American exceptionalism: bottom-up, local control. SD generally results in increased taxation, restricted land use and cosmetic benefits for the present with potentially harmful impacts on future generations. In the long run, this ultimately hampers property rights in that property owners often have all the responsibility of ownership and no authority of ownership. Water bonds currently being proposed in California come from unelected bodies who want to control water from the northern part of the state to the southern portion.
The North State Water Alliance (NSWA) is defined as “a growing partnership of cities, counties, water providers, business, and community groups in northern California. Our common geography and interests have brought us together to work closely on water issues”. This progressive group is pushing the new water bond. NSWA will control the cost of delivered water from the north to the south by owning the water rights and currant laws controlling funding – Here we go again, another unelected entity controlling our lives. What is disturbing is the five general principles they believe must guide a water bond.
- Existing water rights’ priorities and laws must be maintained;
- a bond should contribute to sustainable groundwater management;
- it should strongly emphasize water conservation and recycling;
- it should include projects to restore critical migratory corridors for salmon and waterfowl;
- and any money dedicated to new reservoirs should pay for dedicated environmental benefits and enhanced flexibility of the California water system as a whole.
Items 2 through 5 are sustainable development, which basically negate item 1. What this really says is: We will “manage” (control) your water supply through “conservation” (optimization of demand, which means rationing in the form of increased ordinances and regulations, including ‘efficiency’ programs. For example, tiered water rates and ‘smart’ radio controlled sprinkler heads). “Migratory corridors” will be off limits to all humans in the future. “If” we build any “new reservoirs ” money must be included for sustainable development.
The current drought in California and the neglect of the current water Infrastructure, has created a water crisis – government loves a crisis. “Never let a crisis go to waste”. This has been amplified by mismanagement of our water supplies by State agencies. For example, a couple of years ago California experienced high rain fall. Rather than replenish reservoirs, officials allowed the water to drain directly into the ocean; hence water storage levels were at record lows going into the current drought. Also, over the Memorial Day weekend of 2014, officials dumped millions of gallons of water, from already low reservoirs, in order to replenish water needed for fish stocks.
We now find ourselves in a water crisis due to the drought. This crisis also appears to be facilitated to some degree by State water agencies and now that the time is just right, legislators are being asked to float a sustainable water bond that will cure solution – create the problem and offer the solution…
Competing Water Bonds: Two Extremes
State Senator Bob Huff’s June 6 Water Forum was essentially a prolonged sales pitch to frighten citizens into supporting his “Bay Delta Conservation Plan.”
There are four “co-equal goals” to his Bay Delta Plan, which are taken straight from the Sustainable Development/Agenda 21 playbook:
- Multispecies protection (not humans),
- Upfront regulatory assurances (described as severely limited water distribution, a huge complaint of the central valley farmers who are the low men on the totem pole),
- Habitat conservation (mostly for the benefit of fish), and
- Conveyance improvement.
Conveyance improvements involve conveyance alignment. Translation: expensive tunnels will be built under the delta, they will be connected to a conveyance system, which in turn will connect to the aqueduct. Stated goals: reduction in toxic pollutants for safe drinking water, and reduction in “environmental stresses” such as control of invasive species (a fish benefit), reduction in aquatic predators (a fish benefit), and better control of hatcheries (a fish benefit).
All five speakers at the meeting agreed that the Bay Delta solution will only have an effect on the reliability of water, when water is available, and not increase the actual amount of water available or reduce water cost. They also concurred that no matter what, water prices are going to increase. They said the Bay Delta Plan will ONLY add $5 per household per month for 10 years.
None of the experts at the meeting mentioned one of the causes of the water price increases-the loss of billions of gallons of water due to the California government draining the Folsom and other Reservoirs and dams, or them leaving the central valley valve open and flowing to the sea, as part of Nancy Pelosi’s salmon restoration project. These water wasting actions by our government have also lead to the increase in food prices in California, and across the nation. Additionally our drained dams cannot now function correctly to produce electricity, so our electricity prices are rising as well. You can read about this water mismanagement on Rep. Tom McClintock’s website. * See Competing Bonds & Delta map below.
The other water bill is Assemblyman Anthony Rendon’s Clean, Safe and Reliable Drinking Water Act of 2014, AB 1331, which could be renamed the Welfare Water Bond or the You Have to Pass it to Know What’s In It Bill.
Rendon states that his bill has nothing to do with Governor Brown’s Bay Delta Plan or building any tunnels. The bond will cost $8 billion initially but will require future taxpayer money for “future investments”. The Bond will take 20 years for repayment. There are no earmarks (described as dedicated funds for specific projects-Rendon emphasis # 1), although a huge focus and emphasis is $400 million for “Disadvantaged Communities.” However, the coastal area needs to find its own solution and is not included in this bond because it is too isolated and “off the grid.” Isolation must not be considered a disadvantage to Rendon.
He is including $2 B is for water delivery and $2.5 B for water storage, but could not describe what water storage or delivery systems will look like. Give us a clue: Tupperware containers, in-ground tanks or new reservoirs? When asked about his expected outcomes for his plan, such as increased water availability or decreased water cost he did not have an answer. He also did not know how long it would take to build any functional structures. Capsule summary he wants an initial $8 billion dollars for nothing specific, with no stated taxpayer benefits, but certain disadvantage communities WILL get money.
His meeting was populated by several mayors, a Representative, city council members, and many different Water Board members, who said Rendon’s meeting was information packed and his plan needed to go through. If they could make that statement after Rendon was questioned about specifics and could give no answers, it is obvious that our elected officials are indeed working for their own gain and not for the common good. It should be noted that none of the many politicians at the two meetings, from city to House of Representative level, flinched at questions of mismanagement or squandering money. We need to start hitting them with “who, what, where, when, how and why” at more meetings to find out what it is they want to do with our money, and then hold their feet to the fire via the ballot box.
The summaries presented here offer outcomes that make water neither affordable or available, yet our politicians are asking tens of billions of dollars from the taxpayers. We don’t need any of the 7 bonds currently trying to get on the ballot by June 26. Let the 2009 Water Bond go on the ballot in November and then vote against it as well. Here is a scenario that comes to mind.
How to Make a Profit: Water Wars – Again
The plot set in the 1800s whereby a rancher upstream reroutes a stream, which is the only water source for farmers “down river”. Farms dry up and the land goes fallow. Rancher upstream calls speculator friend who buys up fallowed farm land. Rancher upstream returns stream to origin. Farmland goes up in value. Speculator resells the farm land. Rancher upstream and speculator split the profit. This is essentially what is happening in the Central Valley of California where water is being diverted for endangered fish and farmers are being left out. Nonprofit conservation groups (speculator) offer to ‘help’ farmers by offering them below market value for their land to put it in to a trust or conservation easement. Who will benefit when water begins to flow again in the great Central Valley?
The plot set in the 21st century whereby crony gets legislator to pass climate change legislation. Sustainability controls all resource and development. Water is subject to environmental considerations before human considerations. Crony makes a pact with the government: a public-private partnership. Crony and government split revenue increases.
Contact your California state representatives and say no to any ‘sustainable water bonds’. Support bills that promote water storage.
*Competing Bonds & Delta map