SF Chronicle: Panel issues dire warning on Delta
A task force appointed by the governor warns that California must build new dams, canals and desalination plants and amend its laws or face economic and ecological disaster.
The state must elevate environmental needs for water to a standing equal to that of human needs to restore the state’s ailing water network, a report by the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force said.
In addition to new dams and reservoirs, the plan calls for other measures, including: designating the estuary a National Heritage Area by 2010, increasing the amount of recycled water in the state to 1.5 million acre feet annually and cutting California’s water use 20 percent by 2020.
The goals of this report are laudable. One major problem with the plan is that there is only one truly suitable dam site left in the state – Temperance Flat. We will end up relying on desalination and toilet-to-tap plants, like the one Singapore operates. Although I wonder if such projects will provide enough water for agriculture, which uses 80% of the water in the state.