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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Comprehensive Water Reform in California?

Dune Pictures, Images and Photos

I have always loved Dune and the strong ecological themes embedded throughout the science fiction series. We are not as bad off as Arrakis in our semi arid Los Angeles region but touring the Bay Area Delta last April opened my eyes to the need for comprehensive water reform in the Golden State.

Bay Area Delta

Coro has its Water Conservation Luncheon tomorrow and is attempting to surface some solutions with a number of top water experts and officials. I also put together a special Coro CrossTalk on Water a couple of weeks ago that provided some insights into water politics--perhaps serving to remind all present of that famous phrase from another water-themed movie: "Either you bring the water to L.A. or you bring L.A. to the water."


Last Friday, Mayor Villaraigosa, Governor Schwarzenegger, Speaker Bass and a number of others assembled at the Tujunga well field of the San Fernando Valley aquifer, part of Los Angeles' water supply, to sign two bills of a five piece water accord. The remaining parts of the $11.1 billion bond (which is part of a larger $40 billion financial commitment) was signed this past Monday and will go before voters a year from now. It looks promising but there are critics as well as political observers like Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee:

Debt service, now nearly 7 percent of the state budget, could hit 10 percent by the middle of the next decade, Lockyer said, calling for a multiyear master plan for financing infrastructure rather than the current election-by-election game. Repaying water bonds will cost as much as $800 million a year.

The second big question: Will voters go along with it? Asking visibly angry voters to authorize more borrowing in this very bleak economy is dicey, especially since there's considerable opposition, including some environmental groups and perhaps public employee unions that see less program money available if more is spent on bond service.

The question remains, however, is what is the cost of doing nothing or to paraphrase our illustrious former Vice President, to continue dithering. Below is footage from the signing here in the 818 as well as a photo slideshow. I guess we will just have to wait and see if Schwarzenegger will truly be California's Paul Muad'Dib of Water.

List of speakers in order of appearance:

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; Assembly Speaker Karen Bass; Assemblymember Kevin De Leon; San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders; Paul Rodriguez, California Latino Water Coalition; Jeffrey Kightlinger, MWD of Southern California; Gary Toebben, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce; Pankaj Parekh, Los Angelees D.W.P.; and Danny Curtin, Director, California Conference of Carpenters


Rest of the footage: II, III, IV, V


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Anonymous Anonymous said:

Comprehensive ______ Reform. Fill in the blank and it's almost always a taxpayer ripoff sold under false pretense.

November 11, 2009 1:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Antonio Villaraigosa, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Karen Bass, Kevin De Leon, Jerry Sanders, Paul Rodriguez, Jeffrey Kightlinger, Gary Toebben, Pankaj Parekh, Danny Curtin

Holy Moley!! Who drew the short straw to transport all of these chimps back to Griffith Park after the luncheon?

November 11, 2009 1:58 PM  

Anonymous Wise Latina said:

Will someone explain to me why Latinos have their own Water Coalition? Is this some type of "Separate but Equal" bullshit?

November 11, 2009 2:11 PM  

Blogger Joseph Mailander said:

Hey, Ed, way to stitch a couple of photos into a press release to make it look newsy. We'll have real water reform when we stop growing rice in the Sacto Delta, and grow crops that make more sense here. With 80 percent of the state's water used by agriculture, these fora describing what CITY folks need to do are just more Sacto whackage.

November 11, 2009 2:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Speaker Karen Bass is a laughing stock in a line of laughing stocks .. Nunez .. Villar.

November 11, 2009 4:41 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

1:58, agree... That's a barrel of politicians if I ever saw one!

November 11, 2009 4:58 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Good post Ed.

To the person who tried to comment about you know who and said they could so because I'm not reading anymore, nice try.

Blog away dum dums.

November 11, 2009 9:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


Did you go to college or "refom" school?

November 13, 2009 3:32 PM  

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