Editorial: The feds can curb a foolish California water giveaway
Californians who believe they deserve free water for their families should know that the federal government has not changed its position on giving us our own water.
It’s only changing its position on the federal government’s insistence that residents of Southern California have to buy water from a private utility.
On May 16, the federal Bureau of Reclamation released its draft Environmental Impact Statement on a proposed project from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to the Salton Sea to move water north from the Colorado River basin to the northern California coastline. The project is expected to cost $20 billion and would result in the construction of four massive dams holding back up to 4 billion gallons of water every day from the Salton Sea near the border of Baja California and Mexico. The project, which is being developed by the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Reclamation, provides California with no more of its own water. California will be required to buy the water California currently uses each day.
The proposed project is a disaster for California.
A recent analysis by the Water Policy Center found that the project would cost California as much as $40 billion. When you add the federal government’s guarantee of the project’s financial success, it’s easy to see that California would be on the hook for trillions of dollars in debt to the federal government in exchange for $4 billion dollars a year of federal subsidies.
Despite California’s deep mismanagement of state water resources and a shortage of water in the state, the Department of the Interior has never proposed the federal government pay for California’s water.
The proposed project will make the federal government the largest recipient of California’s water.
Californians who believe they deserve free water for their families should know that the federal government has not changed its position on giving us our own water. This is as basic as it gets.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees the Bureau of Reclamation, the Bureau of Reclamation is responsible for allocating the state’s water supply.
“The Bureau of Reclamation’s role in California is to distribute the water under the California Water Project, which consists of the Central Valley Project and the California Main Canal System,” states the federal agency. “The Bureau of Reclamation is also responsible for maintaining the dam