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People Before Water Barons: Stop the Peripheral Canal Water Bond!
by Dan Bacher
Tuesday Jun 30th, 2009 5:23 PM
Don't let the legislature pass a $20 billion bond including a peripheral canal and more dams without public input! Here is the latest action alert from John Beuttler, conservation director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA). There is now talk of the combined hearing, scheduled by the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and the Senate Natural Resources Committee, being switched from July 7 at 9 a.m. to July 9. Neither date has been finalized.
Delta Water Bills threaten our fisheries while 20 Billion Dollar Bond will break California taxpayer’s backs

by John Beuttler, CSPA Conservation Director

June 30, 2009 -- The word last week from the State Capitol was that a combined hearing to be held by the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and the Senate Natural Resources Committee on a host of water bills would take place on July 7, in Room 4202 at 9 a.m. However, now there is talk of the committee meeting being held instead on July 9th. Neither date has been finalized, making the date a “moving target,” intentionally making it difficult for the public to plan to attend the hearing.

These committees plan to establish a “Delta Water Package” that would lay the groundwork for a Dual Conveyance Facility to move water both through and around the Delta. Unfortunately, as of now, we haven’t been told exactly what the bills will make the final package. However, it is understood that the bill or bills will contain a $15-20 billion dollar water bond to pay for infrastructure "improvements" which are likely to include the peripheral canal and at least two dams.

This political maneuvering is public policy formation at its worst - on one of our most important state issues, the management of water. It is time to let our legislators know that we want real solutions to break dependence on Delta water exports and that the Bay Delta Conservation Plan in its present form is unacceptable to the people of the Delta.

The fact that the legislature is attempting to move a bond of 15 to 20 billion dollars through the political process without public input is shameful when you consider that the state is broke and planning to issue IOU’s with thousands of teachers being laid off, class sizes increasing, health care benefits cancelled for the most severely physically disabled, Alzheimer patients, health benefits removed for over one million children, some critically ill, and senior citizens forced to eat pet food to cover rising utility bills and now unfunded transportation costs.

While this is an unusual process that’s still evolving, we do know the following:

• The public will have less than a week to find out what bills will be in the package, what they will do, and who will pay for it.
• This could be the only hearing before the bills are heard on the Assembly and Senate floors where, if passed, they would go to the Governor.
• None of these bills fund or include the restoration of our salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, striped bass or other fisheries dependent on the Delta and that are in collapse.
• No fishery restoration plans are in place to be use even if funding were made available.
• The bills fail to provide a solution to the state’s fundamental problem of over exploiting the Delta’s finite water resources.
• None of the bills provide for the significant improvements in water conservation, recycling, and management to significantly reduce the demand on the Delta’s waters needed to begin to restore the productivity of the ecosystem.

CSPA is asking that you plan to attend the hearing and show your support to demand the restoration of the Delta and its fisheries before it too late and insist that the issue of a water bond be put before the voting public! Those who can’t attend should call their State Assembly Member and Senator and ask them to stop this end run.

You can find your senator or assemblyman, their phone numbers and addresses by going to the following website:

http://192.234.213.69/amapsearch/framepage.asp

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