Josh Jones one of the Green Party's candidates for Governor of CA has released a statement about his position on the continuing issue of the Delta Tunnels. Here is what he wrote;
As Green Party candidate for Governor, I must state my position and unequivocal rejection of the Delta Tunnel Project.
I studied geology, and understand the hydrology of California well. For good reason, the Delta Tunnel Project and others like it, have been proposed and shot down for decades.
Removal of even more fresh water from the mouth of the Sacramento River would result in catastrophic seawater and saltwater intrusion into precious fresh ground water in the greater Sacramento Delta area.
However, we do need to address growing population and the urgent need for a new California water plan, especially since the most recent CA Water Plan was created in 1957. Our population has radically changed since 1957, and we need a new comprehensive water plan.
We need smarter and newer catchment systems. Dams have a lifespan of about 100 years, and many are nearing replacement. A dam is essentially a wall across a river; that's a Herculean task. There are better ways than dams to capture fresh water. Dams are currently necessary to catch water for Californian populations, but there are other ways to achieve water security for cities and towns.
One way to achieve needed fresh water catchment is this: spillways from rivers that flow into side-of-river reservoirs. In other words, small or medium sized valleys to the side of rivers can be utilized as reservoirs. This would allow much needed recharge of groundwater, and passively capture flood-stage water, reducing downstream flooding in the process.
As with dam construction, using side-of-river reservoirs would require some people to move to higher ground. Areas flooded for water capture would be available for fishing and other recreation when filled. Additionally, these places would also be available as both vibrant land parks and tillable farmland when dry in late summer and autumn. It would also move some areas back toward the quality of vernal flooding, for which California was once famous as the "Western Serengeti". These intermittently flooded valleys would blossom with vibrant wildflowers, grow flood tolerant trees such as willow, and many types of native wildlife such as pronghorn antelope could thrive there.
Recycling water is an another important way to accumulate water reserves for cities, through direct reuse, surface water augmentation, or ground water recharge. In this way, large cities can build up water resources. Ultimately, all water is recycled by the hydrological cycle.
Regulation of water use is also necessary. I grew up in the countryside and city, and understand the needs of both. As Governor I will negotiate with farmers and large cities, letting farmers know that in order to regulate city water use, farmers must also accept regulations. Water is necessary to grow food, indeed, and so it must be parceled out.
Additionally, we must pursue desalination as an option. Not aggressive desalination, but partial desalination, which occurs naturally when clouds form over the ocean and come inland. This close-to-natural desalination does not harm ocean systems and life. We must pursue partial desalination to bring water security to Los Angeles, San Diego, and the other large cities along California's coast.
When I am Governor, infrastructure will be increased, I will forward deploy Cal Fire units to areas susceptible to wildfire that year, police will be trained to deescalate, the Portuguese Model will be emphasized via a vis drug use, sustainable energy will be developed to its highest potential, separate light rail will be constructed to interconnect cities such as Modesto to Bakersfield, and a new smarter water plan will be developed immediately.
California needs to be water smart.
Josh Jones for Governor 2018