What the governor’s office billed as a “path forward on California’s water future” turned into a step back. In announcing a plan Wednesday for a pair of pipes to move water south around the eastern periphery of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, Gov. Jerry Brown told the assembled officials and press, “We’re going to make stuff happen. We’re going to take into account the opposition. And if we have to fight initiatives and referendums, we’ll fight those too.”
Why is the governor going out of his way to pick a fight?
In the past few weeks, the groups working to figure out how to balance California’s water needs and restore the delta ecosystem have found consensus – or at least the seeds of consensus. Recognizing that the courts would continue to determine California’s water future unless efforts focused on developing a legal plan, planners reorganized around a simple framework: fish first.
Then comes the governor’s announcement of a “preferred alternative” where size matters, not fish.