Nick Wilcox of NID addressed a full house at the monthly meeting this evening of the Wolf Creek Community Alliance. Nick, a water scientist and former member of the California Water Resources Control Board, gave his rapt audience a high-level overview — full of interesting anecdotes and packed with information — of water issues in California.
He began by describing California’s ten hydrologic regions, which all drain into the Delta (originally a freshwater marsh). He described the extraordinary history of engineering projects that led to the fragile, levee-encircled Delta we have today (fifteen feet below sea-level in some places).
“The Department of Water Resources has understood for a long time that the worst case scenario for the Delta is a significant earthquake centered there, which could collapse all the levees at once.”
“In five minutes,” he said, “the city of Los Angeles could lose its entire water supply.” He couldn’t venture a guess for how long.
For this reason, and others, he suggests that the Peripheral Canal would probably be a good idea.
He opposes the $11+ billion Water Bond on the November ballot, and he repeated the phrase I first heard from him at A.P.P.L.E.’s recent water presentation: “In California, water runs uphill toward money.”
Nick loves his subject, and he could have gone on for hours. He is so engaging that his audience could probably have also listened to and questioned him for hours.
Take heart, those of you who have not yet heard Nick Wilcox: He is one of the featured presenters on March 6th at the Nevada City Methodist Church for the conference, “Water: Sacred and Profaned.”