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Local water leaders question report that recommends exporting water

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Posted: Sunday, July 20, 2008 10:00 pm

San Joaquin County representatives have grave concerns over a recommendation by the Public Policy Institute of California and experts from University of California, Davis, that water be transferred to Southern California and to farms in the southern San Joaquin Valley.

"Our county stands to be the big loser in this," said Acampo resident Tom Hoffman, president of the North San Joaquin Water Conservation District's board of directors.

"This is a very political issue," Hoffman said. "We know who's behind it - the money in Southern California. So what does Northern California get out of it? Not very much."

The Public Policy Institute report recommends that California build a canal to pipe fresh water from the Sacramento River around the Delta instead of continuing to send it through.

The study says that continuing to channel water through Delta levees is risky and costly. It also concludes that fortifying the Delta's 74 islands would be a waste of taxpayer money.

"A number of people saw small sections of it, but only a couple evaluated the whole document," said Bill Jennings, executive director of the California Sportfishing Alliance. "I would characterize it as a sales brochure (rather) than an analysis of the Delta."

"Ultimately there are two choices: no exports, or a peripheral canal. Keeping the Delta as it is, is not one of them," said co-author Jay Lund, an engineering professor at the University of California, Davis, who helped author the report.

What is the Public Policy Institute?

The Public Policy Institute of California describes itself as a private nonprofit organization dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research.

The institute was founded in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Headquarters are in San Francisco, but a Sacramento center opened in 2007.

The staff has expertise in a number of fields, including economics, demography, political science, sociology and environmental resources.

For more information, visit www.ppic.org/main/publication.asp?i=810.

Source: Public Policy institute of California

Kevin Kauffman, general manager of the Stockton East Water district, which has been working with the North San Joaquin district in trying to replenish the parched groundwater basin in the east and north parts of the county, sees the Public Policy Institute's report as another step toward making the peripheral canal a reality.

"I'm not conspiracy minded, but this is clearly a conspiracy," Kauffman said. "They're doing it for good reasons. They want to keep the Southern California economy from suffering, but it's hurting Northern California.

"Can Stockton East and San Joaquin County stop it? Probably not," Kauffman said.

Nevertheless, he added, county leaders must continue to impress on state officials the need to protect the water quality and quantity in the Delta.

Hoffman, the North San Joaquin board chairman, noted the fragile status of the Delta.

"It would reduce the viability of Delta itself if you take water out of the Sacramento River before going to the Delta," Hoffman said.

"I don't think they looked at all the options," Hoffman said. "One option that North San Joaquin suggested is to take the water around and to the south Delta before you take it out. People don't want to even look at that idea."

Jennings said the peripheral canal plan proposed by the Public Policy Institute would sacrifice about a half-million acres of Delta farming.

"It would destroy the Delta as we know it," Jennings added.

Hoffman said, "I know they need the water down there (in Southern California). But do we even have a say in this? It's going to be a battle, it really is."

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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  • posted at 6:22 pm on Tue, Jul 22, 2008.


    Don't drink the water

  • posted at 2:43 am on Tue, Jul 22, 2008.


    Well wtf; Kudos to your research prowess. I feel so enlightened, and can't wait to follow up on this treasure trove of information.Thanks

  • posted at 10:40 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2008.


    WTF......quit beating around the bush, how do you really feel about this subject?

  • posted at 5:36 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2008.


    Well, Mr. Kauffman, it would appear there ***are*** conspiracies.Kenny Lay, Kenny Lay, Kenny Lay, Kenny Lay and his water privatization scheme thats going through my mind because a lot of these people look like the usual suspects. What I dont get is why they dont work toward building desalination plants in southern California. Theres plenty of ocean and our farmers here in the north wouldnt have to suffer. The San Joaquin Valley is one of the major food suppliers for the U.S. - why take the farmers water?

  • posted at 5:36 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2008.


    Smith Richardson Foundation out of CONNECTICUT?University of California, Irvine - southern CaliforniaUniversity of Maryland - MARYLAND?University of Southern California - southern CaliforniaThe World Bank Group - the WORLD BANK????The others are listed here:http://www.ppic.org/main/faqindex.asp(cont)

  • posted at 5:36 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2008.


    The James IRVINE FoundationThe Keston Institute for Infrastructure located in L.A.Lincoln Institute of Land Policy out of Massachusetts - this is interestingthey address issues involving the use, regulation and taxation of landhttp://www.lincolninst.edu/aboutlincoln/Michigan State University - MICHIGAN!!!???!?Pacific Gas and Electric CompanyThe David and Lucile Packard Foundation - the other half of Hewlett?The Research Foundation at CUNY - the City University of NEW YORK?http://portal.cuny.edu/portal/site/cuny/index.jsp?front_door=trueThe San Diego Foundation - southern CaliforniaScripps Institution of Oceanography - southern California(cont)

  • posted at 5:35 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2008.


    PPIC is a non-profit research institution and operating foundation, 501(3)c. Our research and other activities are supported primarily by our endowment, donated by William R. Hewlett. We also receive generous assistance from foundations, government entities, and other nonpartisan organizations. In addition, we have accepted gifts from private individuals and philanthropies.Lets just take a look at a few:Stephen D. Bechtel Junior (wonder if hes any relation to Bechtel International that recently took over Lawrence Livermore Lab?)http://www.llnsllc.com/news/pr/05082007a.aspThe Ford FoundationThe Bill and Melinda Gates FoundationThe William and Flora Hewlett Foundation(cont)

  • posted at 5:34 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2008.


    A. Alan Post was an economist and wielder of significant power and influence during his 27 years as the states chief legislative analyst. http://www.sacmag.com/media/Sacramento-Magazine/July-2006/Personality-Alan-Post/Cynthia A. Telles, PhD, is the director of the Spanish-Speaking Psychosocial Clinic of the Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine, and she also serves as associate clinical professor with the UCLA School of Medicine.https://newsmedia.kaiserpermanente.org/kpweb/executiveprofiles/detailpage.do?bodyContainer=/htmlapp/feature/119executiveprofiles/nat_cynthiaatelles.htmlHarold M. Williams served as chairman of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission between 1977 and 1981.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_M._WilliamsAnd who funds the non-profit PPIC?(cont)

  • posted at 5:34 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2008.


    Arjay Miller - As WWII wound down, he and a group of 10 officers under the leadership of Col. "Tex" Thornton, who later founded Lytton Industries, decided to go as a group to some company that needed managerial help. Mr. Miller wasn't so interested when the group was looking at the Illinois Central Railroad, but when its focus shifted to Ford, he gave up his plans to return to banking and a Ph.D. in San Francisco and went along. The rest is history. The 10 so-called "Whiz Kids" turned the limping company around and built it into one of the world powerhouses. Best known of the 10 was Robert McNamara, who went from being president of Ford to secretary of defense and then chief of the World Bank. Mr. Miller rose through the ranks to become president of Ford in 1963. He stayed until 1969 when he left to become dean of the Stanford Business School.http://www.almanacnews.com/morgue/1998/1998_06_24.arjay1.html(cont)

  • posted at 5:33 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2008.


    David W. Lyon whose past experience includes Vice President and Corporate Officer, RAND Corporation (19771994). Co-Director, Center for U.S.-Japan Relations, RAND (19891991). Economist/ Senior Economist, RAND (19721977). Regional Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (19691972). This water re-route is beginning to smell to me. I cant help but think of Kenny Lay.Cheryl White Mason.well, well, welllooky here.she was a director for the James Irvine Foundation from 2000 to 2003.http://www.irvine.org/about_irvine/prevDirectors.shtml(cont)

  • posted at 5:32 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2008.


    Geez! Do ***any*** of these Board members hail from the San Joaquin Valley? Well, theres one left.Carol Whiteside is founder and former president of the Great Valley Center in Modesto, California.One from the San Joaquin Valley on the current Board of Directors for PPIC. What about the founding Board members?William K. Coblentz, a lawyer, whose chief areas of legal expertise are land use and development, real estate, and complex business transactions. THIS could explain things.http://www.coblentzlaw.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=people.personDetail&ID=10636Roger W. Heyns who had been president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Hewlett, Hewlett, that name sounds familiar.(cont)

  • posted at 5:32 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2008.


    Hmmphf! Another southern California person.Constance L. Rice, co-director of The Advancement Project in Los Angeles, is a problem solver in the public policy arena, seeking multicultural consensus solutions that advance social, economic, and racial justice. L.A. again - southern California.Raymond L. Watson is a community planner, designer, and builder who played a key role in shaping the modern foundations of Orange County, California. In the 1960s, he helped turn the undeveloped Irvine Ranch into one of the most successful planned communities in the United States. Irvine Ranch is in southern California. Which reminds me, whats up with this?Irvine Ranch Water District and The Irvine Company are proud to be part of the efforts undertaken to preserve and revitalize important wetlands such as the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary - located in IRVINE.http://www.irwd.com/Environment/wildlife.phpHuh? Could this be where our farmers water is going?(cont)

  • posted at 5:31 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2008.


    Gary K. Hart, Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California, was born in San Diego. Think thats in SOUTHERN California.Walter B. Hewlett is a Bay Area boy of the Hewlett-Packard (HP) people but not from the San Joaquin Valley.Donna Lucas is founder of the Lucas Public Affairs Group and Of Counsel with Porter Novelli, a global public relations company based in New York!???!!?Leon Edward Panetta is the director of the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute of Public Policy. Appears to be affiliated with the University of Santa Cruz - northern California; but not the San Joaquin Valley.Ki Suh Park is the Design and Managing Partner (CEO) of Gruen Associates. He directs the world-wide architectural, planning, transportation, environmental, landscape architecture, and interior design activities of the firm, headquartered in Los Angeles. (cont)

  • posted at 5:30 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2008.


    When I took a look, it seemed like an awful lot of these big fish in our local delta pond, had come upstream from (surprise!) southern California, primarily from Irvine. Lets take a look:Thomas C. Sutton, Chair, is retired chairman and CEO of Pacific Life Insurance Company, based in Newport Beach, one of the largest life insurance companies in the nation. Newport Beach is in southern California.Mark Baldassare, President and Chief Executive Officer Public Policy Institute of California, once worked in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, School of Social Ecology, University of California, Irvine and was the Founder and Director, Orange County Annual Survey, University of California, Irvine (19822000). Irvine is in southern California.Ruben Barrales is president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. Southern California again.Edward K. Hamilton is chairman of Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Associates, Inc. (HRA), a Los Angeles-based policy, management, financial, and research consulting firm he helped establish in 1976. L.A. = southern California.(cont.)

  • posted at 5:29 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2008.


    "I'm not conspiracy minded, but this is clearly a conspiracy," Kauffman said. First off, Mr. Kauffman doesnt have to apologize for using the term conspiracy since Uncle Sam believes in them (conspiracies) and its only due to media spin regarding this word that its connotation is now negative. Conspiracies are real. Think RICO Act.This is a link to Title 18 of the U.S. Code:http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/uscode18/usc_sup_01_18.htmlOn the right hand side, type in the word conspiracy and see how many results show up. I got 121. That said, I think the term vested interests might be a better fit to the situation outlined in the article because it would seem that this non-profit objective board may not be that objective; it also seems that eventually there will be major profits to be made by certain parties. Why? Lets take a look at PPICs Board of Directors and the Founding Board Members.http://www.ppic.org/main/boardadvisory.asp(cont.)

  • posted at 4:30 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2008.


    If salinity is the key worry, there are ready solutions: One is the use of deployable anti-backflow gates in the river that can be closed in an emergency (like a levee break) to prevent saltwater backflow incursion from the bay. These are in use NOW in Europe. This would allow reliable delivery of water to the pumpseven if elements in the fragile Delta should fail. I've not heard 1 word about using such a solution. SoCal just wants a fixed concrete river to them, period. Google "Los Angeles River" to see an example of what they see as a "river".

  • posted at 3:57 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2008.


    Public Policy Institute of California is a Socialist group trying to keep their friends in Los Angeles going. The fact is, if they deported all the illegals and terrorists in LA, they wouldn't need any extra water.

  • posted at 3:54 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2008.


    A couple of points: First, several of teh authors of the 'study' are paid consultants to water agencies in So. Cal or governmental bodies in So. Cal. So it would be reasonable to follow the money. Second, take a quick read through the 'study' and you will find 30 references to "climate change", 137 to "sea level rise", yet 0 to "cooling". There seems to be a political and monetary agenda being pushed just under the surface. Lastly, if as the report describes the Delta is dying due to lack of fresh water (164 references to "salinity"), how possibly could cutting off the inflows of fresh water be expected to save it? Oh yeah. That's phase two, right after the peripheral canal is finished.

  • posted at 3:51 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2008.


    This things sucks for Northern Californians but I`m sure the politicos in SoCal will expect us to pay for at least half of it!

  • posted at 2:32 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2008.


    Notice that the SoCal Periferal Canal will run EAST of the Delta...which means that it will cut across each and every other river that flows into the Deltafrom the Sierra. Now, clearly, since the SoCal Periferal Canal will not have overpasses allowing those other rivers to flow UNDER or OVER it...how will those other contributing tributaries be allowed flow into the Delta? We're talking the Mokelume, the Consumes, the Caleveras, and more . Answer: they won't! They will just run into the all-consuming "black hole" canal to flush SoCal's toilets. As I see it, the SoCal Periferal Canal will take nearly ALL of the incoming fresh water from the Delta and pipe it south. Its NOT just the Sacramento River! Can somebody please explain how this is NOT the case??? If SoCal is so rich and populated, why aren't we hearing about huge desalination projects down there?

  • posted at 1:54 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2008.


    The simple fact is that water is a precious and highly contested commodity.Most of California's water is in the north. There are a lot more people in SoCal than in NorCal...that means votes and dollars. Guess who will win? In the 1980s, there was serious discussion of dividing the state in two. Maybe that is once again a valid action to consider because when this Periferal canal is built, our Delta will be forgotten and will suffer serious ecological damage.



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