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Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Development-Serving Water Agencies Begin Campaign to Convince Californians that We Need More Water Reservoirs

Statewide water crisis campaign launched,

Water districts unite to convince Californians their supply is in jeopardy as the Legislature is in a special session to discuss water policy.

From the L.A. Times/Associated Press

September 18, 2007

SACRAMENTO -- A coalition of water districts began a statewide television campaign Monday designed to persuade Californians that their water supply is in crisis.

The campaign by the Assn. of California Water Agencies, estimated to cost between $7 million and $9 million, will include radio and television commercials in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, the Central Valley and other major media markets.

The group supports building more dams, and its campaign comes as the Legislature is in a special session to consider a wide-ranging water policy for the state. Officials with the association said the timing of the campaign is a coincidence.

"Educating the public about the crisis in our water system is a top priority for water agencies," Timothy Quinn, executive director of the association, said in a statement.

Legislative leaders and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger are expected to meet over the next several weeks to discuss a potential multibillion-dollar water plan that could include new dams, canals and underground storage.

Low snowfall in the Sierra this year, thinner snowpacks predicted because of global warming and a federal judge's order to drastically reduce water deliveries from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta have added urgency to the debate.

Schwarzenegger and Sen. President Pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland) have offered competing bond proposals that would fund dams in very different ways. Schwarzenegger wants to set aside money exclusively for two state dams, while Perata wants to give communities the option to build dams if they can find local funding.

The association's 30-second commercial calls insufficient water storage one of the state's problems. The campaign also is to include radio and newspaper ads, spokeswoman Jennifer Persike said.

The association represents nearly all the state's water agencies, including the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California in Los Angeles and the San Diego County Water Authority.

(Note from their website: ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose 450 members are collectively responsible for 90% of the water delivered in California. For more information, visit


The Other Side of the Story:

Letter to the Editor:

Re "Gov. renews dam plan after ruling limits water," Sept. 6

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to build two new dams and a canal around or through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. There is no water left to fill his dams. All of our state's water resources are already overcommitted, which is why the delta's ecosystem is collapsing and the delta smelt, the basic food fish for the bigger fish in the delta, is about to go extinct. These are dams that the supposed beneficiaries are unwilling to pay for.

Yet we are told that the Metropolitan Water District has planned well, that it has plenty of storage and has kept total water use flat. And now the district is planning further reductions in consumption by maximizing our use of local resources through conservation, wastewater reuse and better groundwater management. We can save the delta and provide for our water needs much quicker and much more cheaply by following the district's lead than by building the governor's massive infrastructure projects.

Dorothy Green

(Green was a founder of Waterlog, a group that fought plans to export more water from Northern California rivers to serve more urban development in L.A. in the 1970's, and she was also a founder of Heal the Bay in Los Angeles.)

A website with a more skeptical view of the plan to build more reservoirs for more development is at:

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