The Peripheral Tunnel would shunt water around the Sacramento Delta, sending it to Central Valley farmers and southern California. Somehow, proponents claim, this won’t hurt the Delta even a little biity bit. Farmers and the fishing industry disagree. Vehemently.
California loves a good water fight, and when Brown unveiled his plans to build a modern version of the peripheral canal last month, Delta residents and those of us in the media were ready to dust off that familiar narrative. A headline in the San Jose Mercury News read, “Gov. Jerry Brown fires first shot in new water war.” U.S. Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, took to the steps of the Capitol and issued a warning to the Brown and Obama administrations. “You’ve launched your war; we’ll fight the battle,” he said.
Well, no, I don’t think anyone likes a good water war, and to suggest they do is flip and snarky, like the issue is somehow unimportant. This coming water battle will be ruthless. The Delta will probably lose and be degraded and it won’t solve the core problem which is there isn’t enough water to go around in California.