Time is running out to fix Northern California’s beleaguered Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. That seems to be the consensus from the latest major meeting of officials and stakeholders.
Today’s meeting in Sacramento was a rarity; both state and federal officials sat down to explain the complicated Delta planning process in a public setting.
David Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the federal Department of the Interior, underscored the urgency, telling the gathering that “We are one seismic event away” from a potential three-year interruption in water supplies to Southern California.
“Even if you don’t have a seismic event, the effects of climate change, a major flooding event, threaten the Delta because it’s built on quicksand — basically levees that will not hold against a major event,” said Hayes. The Delta provides water for 25 million Californians. Hayes said his agency and the White House are “in full lockstep” with Governor Jerry Brown’s process for dialing in a Delta strategy. The state is pursuing “co-equal goals” of satisfying California’s water demands while protecting Delta eco-systems, which several speakers said are “crashing.” Continue reading