Gov. Jerry Brown and major water interests from Southern California and the Central Valley are trying to sell a proposal to the residents of Sacramento and other Delta communities to allow the construction of twin underground tunnels costing $25 billion to siphon water from the Sacramento River and deliver it to farms and cities to the south. We should not be fooled into thinking that the Sacramento region will gain from this preordained proposal.
The days when the unquenchable south saw the north as a bottomless chalice of water are over. The Sierra Nevada snowpack is predicted to shrink dramatically because of global climate change, resulting in significantly less controlled runoff. Most of the runoff will come in the winter as rainfall, and much less from diminishing snowmelt in spring and summer. As a result, our ability to retain and manage our supply of water will be much more limited. The federal government has already declared a large portion of the state a drought disaster area due to years of reduced rainfall.
Furthermore, the tunnel plan’s preliminary environmental impact report indicates that the Folsom reservoir will be drained precariously low in one out of every 10 years in a matter of decades. The low level of water in the reservoir would prevent water from flowing through outlets in its dam and create what’s called a dead pool. If this were to happen, Sacramento could have no way to access its water rights in the American River. Despite the scientific modeling showing that the tunnels could worsen the dead-pool effect, the governor’s plan has nothing in it to address this specific threat to the region’s water supply.
We’ve already begun to prepare for the reduced reliability of water flow. The city of Sacramento has reduced water consumption by 22 percent since 2000 and will have invested $350 million to enhance water efficiency by 2025. It would be patently unfair for us to have worked so hard to conserve, only to see our water savings literally sucked down the drain by the sprawling communities of Southern California and the mega-farms in the Central Valley.
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is the largest Pacific Coast estuary in the Americas. The Delta is home to numerous fish and bird species and more than a half-million people and is the primary source of California’s freshwater supply. Fish as well as farmers depend on the natural flow of the Delta. Constructing these tunnels threatens to upset the delicate local ecosystem and displace generations of Delta farmers and residents.
The flimsy promise of protecting the Delta from a hypothetical levee-threatening earthquake and reducing impact on fish populations by establishing new pumps farther north are relatively small and unconvincing concessions to Sacramento and other Delta communities in relation to the massive loss of water resulting from the increased exports to the south.
The bottom line is that the Central Valley and Southern California will get our water while we get virtually nothing. Until this changes, I am proud to be part of the coalition of family farmers, Indian tribes, Delta residents, commercial fishermen, recreational anglers, conservationists, environmental justice advocates and fellow elected officials including Congresswoman Doris Matsui and Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli who are at the forefront of opposing this titanic wrongheaded idea.
This Op-ed was printed in the Sacramento Bee on December 5, 2013.
Call to Artists: SMAC & CADA Announce “Capitol Box Art Project”
The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission (SMAC) is seeking qualifications from artists (or artist teams) who are 21 years or older and reside within 100 miles of Sacramento to be considered for the Capitol Area Development Authority’s (CADA) traffic utility box public art plan.
Artists will be selected based on past work and paid $500 to create a design that will be transferred to vinyl, and wrapped around a City of Sacramento utility box. The deadline for receipt of sealed applications is Friday, January 15, 2014 by 5 p.m. to the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission located at 300 Richards Blvd. 2ndfloor, Sacramento, CA 95811. Selected artists will be expected to complete their utility art box designs by March 30, 2014.
CADA’s goal for funding this neighborhood project is to instill community pride, create highly visible public art and deter graffiti “tags” from appearing on the utility boxes. Additionally, this project is about connecting artists with creative opportunities.
“The potential concepts and themes that are submitted will guide the placement and style of the art wraps. We hope to be sensitive to the history of the neighborhood while also allowing room for creative expression,” said Wendy Saunders, CADA Executive Director.
The 30 identified utility boxes are owned and operated by the City of Sacramento and are primarily located in CADA’s project area. The wraps will be designed by artists, transferred to vinyl and then applied using a standard fabrication and installation method. Artists can use a variety of media; photography, painting, collage, and digital imagery to develop their designs.
Artist can view the Call for Artists Request for Qualification on the Arts in Public Places webpage atwww.sacmetroarts.org/calls-for-artists.html
City Management Academy Accepting Applications
We are excited to announce that applications are being accepted for the upcoming 2014 City Management Academy (CMA). The CMA is a program offered by the City of Sacramento through the Neighborhood Services Division in partnership with CMA Alumni and City staff. The mission of the City Management Academy is to educate and encourage partnerships between the City of Sacramento, its residents and business owners to help maintain, revitalize and promote healthy communities.
In 1995 the City Management Academy was created with more than 390 participants having graduated since its inception. Participants are provided an opportunity to learn how the City is managed and operated, discuss challenges facing the City of Sacramento and learn about strategies used to address them. A dialogue is developed through an interactive learning experience which allows presenters and residents to share and learn from each other.
Important dates to know:
Friday, January 10, 2014: Deadline for Application Submission
Wednesday, January 22, 2014: Decision Letters Mailed to ALL Applicants
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
First Day of the 2014 City Management Academy
Tuesday, May 13, 2014: 2014 CMA Graduation at City Council
We encourage you to join us for the 2014 City Management Academy and go to our website for additional information www.cityofsacramento.org/ns/get-involved/CityManagementAcademy.cfm. Please complete the attached application and return by the due date of Friday, January 10, 2014 by 5 p.m. (no postmarks are accepted). The City Management Academy is a wonderful opportunity for you to learn more about how the city works but more importantly, to meet others who are also committed to improving the quality of life in Sacramento.
Annual Polar Bear Plunge
January 4 – Come out and swim, enjoy carnival games, a plunge prize, and much more! The event will take place from 10 a.m. – noon at Clunie pool, in McKinley Park, 601 Alhambra Blvd. There is a $5 fee to take the plunge but the event is free for everyone who is not plunging. All proceeds will go to The City of Sacramento Swim League. For more information call 808-2306 or email firstname.lastname@example.org