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Twin tunnels will dry up our Delta estuary

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Posted: Saturday, August 10, 2013 12:00 am

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is merely a legal stepping stone in the environmental and ecological process leading to the confirmation of the Twin Tunnel Peripheral Canal. Unlike 41 years ago, we won’t get to vote down this water grab.

The BDCP is based in pseudo-science, relies on inaccurate assumptions, flawed modeling, faulty data and “iffy” math, and ultimately creates no new water, ignores prior and existing water rights, will use eminent domain to steal the needed land for this fiasco, and certainly promises a very long, protracted and expansive opposition.

This Twin Tunnel Peripheral Canal project not only threatens our Delta estuary, but also our North San Joaquin groundwater basin. All of us well users on its eastern corner should know that our aquifer is critically overdrafted (500,000 acre-feet per year), and water levels are declining as much as 4 feet per year on an ever deepening “cone of depression” with a water level of 90-plus feet below sea level. This void forms a natural vacuum (nature abhors a vacuum). These natural hydraulics induce the already intruding bay saline tide moving easterly from under the Delta at a rate of 250 feet per year to incrementally and exponentially gain speed.

With the depletion of our aquifer — overpumping of groundwater for ag and urban use — and little or no natural recharge taking place, steep groundwater gradients are inviting the ever-encroaching migration of saline intrusion from the San Francisco Bay and threatens our aquifer’s water quality and quantity. The only thing holding back this brackish tide is the river system’s fresh water flush, which is the very water the PC would drain.

The BDCP proposal has the destructive potential to dry up the river, destroy the largest delta estuary in the Western Hemisphere, and as a directly related side effect, ruin our groundwater basin as well.

Remember Owens Valley and Clovis.

William Van Amber Fields


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