California Studies Association

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Patricia McBroom reports on how locals maintain crucial levees in the Sacramento Delta

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CSA Steering Committee member Patricia McBroom has a eye-opening piece on her “California Spigot” blog today about how locals in the Sacramento Delta take responsibility for maintaining levees that are crucial not only for their own survival but also for the water supply of the state. At the same time, McBroom reports that the locals feel left out of state planning for the future of the Delta.

From the blog:

This story about Bradford [where locals had stepped in to repair levee damage caused when a freighter struck the levee] is sadly illustrative of a larger phenomena that affects everyone in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  California relies on local people to maintain levees that are critical to our water supply, yet those same people are all but invisible to State officials planning a huge – and expensive – project to divert water from upriver near Sacramento.  We will get our first view of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) next month in a preliminary draft release, but several things have been clear about this plan for at least a year.

One, it has little or no input from Delta people or their elected representatives in the five county region – Sacramento, Stockton, Contra Costa County, Yolo and Sonoma.  Thirteen members of Congress and the State Legislature from those counties sent a protest letter last month which said in part “The Delta community has long been told….they will be involved in decision–making about the future of their own communities, even though they have been mostly excluded to date.”

To read the whole blog, click here.

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