Surprise: Schwarzenegger Uses 'Drought' Announcement to Promote Canal, Dams
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As California's most shameless political whore, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger never misses an opportunity to promote his campaign to build a peripheral canal and more dams.
Today, the "Fish Terminator" used the California Department of Water Resources' announcement of a five percent initial allocation of total contracted water deliveries to the State Water Project (SWP) contractors for 2010, the lowest in SWP history, as yet more in a long line of opportunities to promote his canal/dams water package that was rushed through the California Legislature in the early morning hours of November 4.
"Today's allotment announcement only highlights the dire situation the state's water system is facing," Schwarzenegger claimed. "This is further evidence that severe drought coupled with population growth has made it essential that we better store and move our fresh water throughout our state. I am encouraged that we are in a position to rebuild the system to withstand the drought situations so we are not forced to agonize over a clean, reliable water supply for future generations."
When Schwarzenegger says "rebuild" the water system, that means to construct a peripheral canal and Temperance Flat and Sites reservoirs, along with a plethora of pork barrel projects.
Lester A. Snow, Director of the Department of Water Resources, used the water allotment announcement to praise the Legislature and Schwarzenegger, his boss.
"The Legislature took a major step forward earlier this month to address the state's water needs by heeding Governor Schwarzenegger's call and passing the most comprehensive water package in California history," gushed Snow. "Nevertheless, on the heels of a three-year drought, we need to prepare now so that we have adequate water supplies for homes, farms and businesses."
Snow said the previous low for an initial allocation as a percentage of SWP contractors' requests was 10 percent in 1993, but that number was increased to 100 percent during the year as supply conditions improved. The initial figure for 2009 of 15 percent was increased to a final allocation of 40 percent in May. The historical average of final SWP allocations as a percentage of initial requests over the past 10 years has been 68 percent.
"The initial allocation is a very conservative estimate of what DWR expects it can delivery as a percentage of SWP contractors' initial requests for contracted water deliveries for a calendar year," according to a DWR news release. "This year, the contractors have requested 100 percent of the maximum contractual amount allowed -- 4,171,996 acre-feet. While the initial 2010 allocation is only five percent of that amount, actual deliveries are expected to increase during the year once actual hydrologic and water supply conditions are known. SWP contractors provide."
The voters will be voting on the $11.1 billion water bond boondoggle in November 2010 - and hopefully they won't be deceived by Schwarzenegger, Snow and the plethora of "Astroturf" groups pushing for the bond's passage.
The peripheral canal, a project that the legislative package clears the path for, would cost from $23 billion to $53.8 billion, according to a draft report by economist Steven Kasower. This is an enormous amount of money that California can't possibly afford at a time when the state has slashed budgets for state parks, teachers, firefighters and game wardens because of the growing budget deficit.
Schwarzenegger is a "big government" corporate Republican who wants to indebt generations to come so that he can build an environmentally devastating "monument" to his "manhood" and gigantic ego. A broad coalition of family farmers, fishermen, environmentalists, Indian Tribes and environmental justice advocates is opposing the peripheral canal because it would inevitably result in the increased diversion of Delta water to corporate agribusiness and southern California. This would likely result in the extinction of Sacramento River chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other imperiled fish species that live in and migrate through the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas.