Monday, September 10, 2007

Confluence, Confusion, or Catastrophe

This is the colloquium on California water that I mentioned in studio today. The lecture will be tomorrow (Tuesday) at 5:30 in Wurster 112. Water dudes, and you know who you are, I hope to see you there.

John Cain
Director, Restoration Programs, Natural Heritage Institute

"Confluence, Confusion, or Catastrophe: Prospects for Ending the Delta
Abstract: The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta - the source water for more
than 20 million people and habitat for several endangered species- is
the geographic center of a decades long-debate on how best to share
water between northern and southern California. For years, the Delta
debate has deadlocked on the amount of water the state and federal water
projects divert out of the Bay-Delta ecosystem, but recent reports and
crises have refocused the debate on a larger set of issues including
levee fragility, climate change, flood plain development, upstream
diversions, and new strategies for diverting water out of the Delta.
Dividing up the Delta's water is only part of the problem. Delta
stakeholders now realize they must also figure out how to restore
habitats, sustain fragile levees, protect farmland, and clean-up
polluted run-off. The Governor has convened several forums including
Delta Vision and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan to develop a
comprehensive plan for the Delta. Although promising, these efforts must
first overcome the scientific uncertainty, interest group intransigence,
and lack of political leadership that doomed previous efforts. John Cain
will describe the new and newly recycled proposals for re-plumbing and
restoring the Bay-Delta watershed that have emerged from these forums,
and discuss the enormous political, technical, and economic challenges
toward breaking the stalemate that has characterized the Delta debate
for the last two decades.

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