Some of you may have noticed the coverage of the Delta Stewardship Council and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan by our regular correspondent, Roberta Long. They are detailed and well researched. You won’t find that news in any other newspaper. The Mountain Democrat assigned Mrs. Long to bird dog this issue because every action they take in the Delta will affect all of us here in the Sierra foothills.
That effect was made startlingly direct when the Delta Stewardship Council included all the watershed in its study map. The clear statement was the council was going to take control of our water.
Enter the Mountain Counties Water Resources Association, which hired John Kingsbury. Kingsbury started critiquing various incarnations of the draft Delta plans. He also teamed up with the Association of California Water Agencies.
Now Kingbury has sparked the formation of a North State Water Alliance. The broad-based group recognizes that two-thirds of the state’s rain and snow falls on Northern California while two-thirds of the consumption comes from Southern California.
“Protecting Northern California’s water interests is our greatest concern. Our water supply and economic sustainability are in play,” Kingsbury said.
Even Sacramento is part of the Northern Alliance.
“Water rights priorities and area-of-origin assurances must be recognized and protected to insure reliable supplies for all water users and environmental needs in our region. We have to speak with one voice. We have to protect our upstream water rights,” said Roger Niello, president and CEO of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce.
“Stakeholders in the North State must be given the opportunity to be included in and consulted on all aspects of development of the Delta solution and other state and federal water policies that affect the region,” said Regional Water Authority Executive Director John Woodling.
The Northern Alliance is proving effective in getting its issues heard and the Delta Plan adjusted accordingly. It requires careful and intense study of the complex plan and detailed critiques of various issues. Acting together as one voice is the most valuable aspect of the North State Alliance. We’re counting on them to keep the environmental Taliban from stealing our water.