The continuing fight for Sacramento Delta water

1,300 miles of ancient, earthen levees protect and encircle the Sacramento Delta.  Some say this leaves the area, and its crucial water supply vulnerable to an earthquake. Others opine that the levees are sturdy enough. That something seemingly as simple as agreement over the safety of levees can’t be reached is a telling indication of how politically contentious the Delta is. It’s been this way for decades too.

It’s all about the water, and who will control it and where will it go. Delta residents and environmentalists have somewhat overlapping interests. They want most of the water to stay in the Delta so the wildlife, fish, and birds will be protected and the area remains a natural resource. In opposition to them, but hardly allies, are farming interests in the Central Valley and the Los Angeles / San Diego water-devouring monsters to the South.  Everyone wants that water, and more than a few of the players are politically connected with major financial resources. Add to that a multiplicity of federal, state, and local agencies with regulatory power over the Delta and you get a rather complicated game indeed, and one which is played using brass knuckles. The politics of water in California has always been a barely disguised street fight.

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La Niña to affect San Diego all winter

The U.S. Climate Prediction Center says that the La Niña that’s been brewing in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific grew stronger during August, raising the possibility that San Diego County and the rest of Southern California could receive below average rainfall this winter. But forecasters say it is unclear how strong that the La Niña will become.

La Niña is a natural periodic climate change that typically produces less rain here but increases precipitation elsewhere, in places like the Pacific Northwest.

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In a Time of Conservation, a Handful of Water Officials Increase Use

Some 69 other officials who oversee the region’s 24 water retailers — the agencies or cities that sell water to individual homes and businesses — either kept their use steady or cut it. (Their water use totals are public records because they have the power to set rates.)

But a few went in the other direction. Lopez was one of eight elected or appointed officials countywide whose home consumption increased by more than 10 percent between 2006 and 2009. Back in 2006, water conservation wasn’t a common refrain. But by 2009, with the first countywide supply cuts in two decades taking effect, the cause was advertised everywhere — from city buses to radio and television.

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