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Aquifer will also be contaminated

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Posted: Friday, July 25, 2008 10:00 pm

Your July 21 front-page article by Ross Farrow, "Peripheral canal: Solution or setback," was well done and spelled out the bottom line as quoted from Bill Jennings: "It would destroy the Delta as we know it."

But, there is more to the story than the rape and ultimate death of our San Joaquin Delta; there is also the same for our groundwater basin - the slow poisoning of our aquifer.

By diverting the millions of acre-feet of Sacramento River water to SoCal - with some siphoned off for the South Bay - the natural flush of the Delta is subverted. With decreasing amounts of river water flushing out God's beautifully designed water system, we also subvert the hydrologic hydraulics that hold the saline intrusion at bay. We know that right now, saline intrusion is occurring at about 200 feet per year, moving easterly toward Highway 99. If we do not restrain this salt water from the bay, our groundwater basin is also further threatened. Our aquifer is already severely over-drafted to the tune of 200,000 a foot per year, and with our already declining groundwater levels, we further invite the migration of saline water from under our Delta into our aquifer.

Nature abhors a vacuum, and as our groundwater table drops, the ocean wants to fill the void left in our over-pumped and depleted groundwater basin. Without the pressure of our rivers fresh water pushing against the incoming tide and the river waters flushing action on our Delta along with an adequate groundwater level, we should expect our aquifer to become contaminated and infiltrated by brackish water.

The "California Delta Bypass," or peripheral canal, also referred to as an "isolated conveyance" and "remote facility," is a breach of our public trust and, if permitted, will be called the Great Delta Water Heist of the 21st century. This diversion is simply a conversion of our water and Delta resource public trust - a water and land grab.

It is our obligation as stewards to preserve, protect and restore this public trust for our children and grandchildren.

William Van Amber Fields


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