California is planning on two huge projects. The first is the high-speed rail, and most residents of California don’t see any way in the world for it to ever be profitable, considering we don’t have a huge density of population like Europe and Japan.
The second project is the twin tunnels being planned for the Delta. In that respect, I have a simple question: How can the state provide a constant supply of water to Northern and Southern California when we will have successive years of insufficient rain fall? One obvious answer lies in building more dams and underwater storage to collect the water for use in the lean years.
Of course, accomplishing this will be very expensive and difficult when you consider the “infighting” over the past 20 or 30 years amongst the politicians, Army Corps of Engineers, environmentalists, geologists and various public officials. It can only be done by a strong and intelligent governor and Assembly working together with the public. Unfortunately, this has been absent for years.
The second part of the problem is the growing population throughout the state. There is an infinite abundance of water available in the ocean. Southern California sits right next to it. This can be converted to drinkable water, but will be very expensive. Countries in the Near East have begun to solve this problem irrespective of the cost. Expanding populations will continue to need more water. Northern California can’t continue to supply the entire state.
Take the twin pipe budget to help pay for dams and underwater storage. Give the high speed rail budget to Southern California to help fund the desalting plants. Both projects would generate many jobs, helping the economy and certainly make the labor unions and Assembly members happy.
My question to all of us: Do we really have any realistic alternatives?