Robbing the Delta of Fresh Water and Delta Water Users of their Rights to Delta Water2 min read


“The robb’d that smiles steals something from the thief.”
–from Othello by William Shakespeare

Restore the Delta staff has been working with other groups and statewide organizations to decipher what is happening with legislative proposals regarding water bonds and legislation during this season’s special legislative session.

To date, we have learned that SB 3xx (referred to as the Governor’s water bond, but actually sponsored by Senator Cogdill, Senator Ackerman, and Assemblymember Villines) allocates over $1.9 billion for support of water agencies working toward the construction of such an alternative conveyance system.

Restore the Delta is 100% opposed to (and will encourage voters across California to reject) any water bond, such as SB 3xx, that promotes this type of alternative conveyance, even if it promises other funding for supposed ecosystem restoration of the California Delta. To put it plainly, the Delta cannot be restored if the Sacramento River is diverted from the Delta. And the promise of ecosystem restoration in trade for new conveyance exemplifies a disingenuous concern for the fate of the Pacific Coast’s most important estuary.

In addition, the Restore the Delta campaign is distressed to learn that the language in SB 3xx moves to revoke the area of origin for the Bay/Delta estuary and all water users within it. We believe that it is an attempt to repeal the Robie decision in D-1641, and would be devastating for the California Delta’s economic and environmental future. In other words, the bill would strip Delta farmers and landowners of their right to Delta water and, thereby, of water quality protections associated with these rights.

Without a doubt, this bill is not only a water grab that would destroy the ecosystem, but it is also a full attack on the people, history, and culture of the five-county California Delta region.

In contrast, we are in support of SB 1002, Senator Perata’s bill to provide $611 million to improve Delta habitat and infrastructure, including much needed repairs for levees that protect Delta residents, and the drinking water supply for our neighbors in other parts of the state. Likewise, SB 2xx, Senator’s Perata’s water bond, seeks to promote greater regional water self-sufficiency and Delta restoration without providing the means for a conveyance system that will deal the final deathblow to the California Delta.

Restore the Delta is a grassroots campaign of residents and organizations committed to restoring the California Delta so that its waters are fishable, swimmable, drinkable, and farmable.


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