The House and Senate are at odds over the San Joaquin River Restoration. If Congressman Jeff Denham and House Republicans aren’t successful in their efforts to change the restoration plan, there could be a lot of money spent and water wasted to reintroduce salmon into a river that’s not ready.
When we think about wasting water we usually think of washing the car, or the driveway, low-flush toilets, overwatering the lawn and other personal water uses. Farmers also get undeserved blame and unending lecturing from environmentalists for their water use. No one ever thinks to look at environmental water wasting. But, they waste the most of all.
The San Joaquin River Restoration project is a good example. As Congressman Jeff Denham says in the press release below, the restoration program “continues to push forward on an ill-advised path of wasting water out to the ocean under the guise of saving salmon.”
There is much that needs to be done to the river to make it ready for salmon recovery. It takes a lot of money, money we don’t have. There is no point in sending water down the river to the ocean for salmon recovery until the river has been properly made ready for restoration. The environmentalists don’t seem to understand or care. They are stubbornly pushing ahead with a doomed plan. Think about it: we send water down a river that’s not ready for salmon in an senseless effort to restore salmon, the water goes to the Delta where it can’t be pumped back into the California Aqueduct because of ESA rules protecting the Delta Smelt, and so the water flows out to sea.
In addition, a restoration program called a ’warm water’ fishery has been repeatedly offered as a compromise. This compromise would restore the San Joaquin River 24/7, 365 days per year, and eliminate Valley water losses. Thus, society would have a live, restored river and would not lose the vast amount of water that is being beneficially used now. However, environmentalists are only satisfied with a program that attempts to establish a self-sustaining salmon fishery which requires the most water, and inflicts the most damage on the San Joaquin Valley. Unfortunately, politics and the settlement of an environmental lawsuit have combined to render some of our politicians scared to support any legislation to solve the situation. For instance, Senator Feinstein and Congressman Jim Costa refuse to consider this compromise proposal unwilling, apparently, to stand up to the environmental lobby…