A lot of water that could make it to the Delta never gets there. It is diverted by cities like San Francisco that gets its water from Hetch Hetchy without going through the Delta. Other cities and water districts also take water out of the system before it can get to the Delta. These diversions are bigger than the water pumped from the South Delta to farms and urban areas in the southern half of the state. Yet, all we hear about from environmentalists is the constant blaming of the South Delta pumps. If we have anything to say about it (and we do), you’re going to hear a lot more about this ‘other’ water.
We have some good news to report regarding this ‘other water’, water known as ‘upstream diversions’. There has been a concerted effort to make sure the Delta Stewardship Committee takes these diversions into consideration when deliberating the ‘two co-equal goals’ of the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP): water supply reliability for California and a healthy and protected Delta ecosystem. Phil Isenberg is the chairman of the Delta Stewardship Council and wrote this in Sunday’s Sacramento Bee:
“Those of us who live in Northern California like to complain about Delta water used by agriculture in the Central Valley and urban users in Southern California. I agree that exporters should pay a good share of the cost of improvements to the Delta ecosystem. But it is unreasonable for those of us up north to ignore the fact we use far more water than is exported through the Delta. Since we are part of the problem, we have to be part of the solution. It’s that simple.”