The CA Delta supplies water to 25 million Californians. The proponents of the Peripheral Tunnels have long cried that in a big earthquake, the levees will fail. That puts our water supply at risk. Never mind that a levee in the CA Delta has NEVER failed because of an earthquake. Somehow, they fail to mention that. Last year, UCLA built a simulated levee in the middle of Sherman Island, set a really big shaker machine on it and simulated up to a 6.5 earthquake. And..... nothing happened. It didn't collapse, it didn't liquefy, it just sat there and said, whatever!!
A whole lot of people, with a whole lot vested interest in shipping water to the Southern San Joaquin Valley, didn't like that outcome. So today they tested it again. The first test, (last August) did not have an adequate ground water table under it they said. So in todays test, the simulated levee has a moat around it filled with water. This was to simulate the saturated peat soil under a typical Delta levee.
We got out there about 10:30 this morning. It was big fun. Here is one of the first news accounts about it. And mrgoo got interviewed! Spoiler alert, the test levee didn't budge this time either.
View more videos at: http://nbcbayarea.com.
Where the hell is Sherman Island you may ask. We are one of the most important islands in the CA Delta. It helps protect the CA Water supply from salt water intrusion just from the basis of our location. Sherman Island is the westernmost island in the primary zone of the Delta. State Highway 160 bisects it. Part of the state electrical grid sits on it and it also contains a huge natural gas patch. I can see the Antioch Bridge from my front yard. Once you go west from the Antioch bridge, it is a very short boat ride to the confluence of the San Joaquin River and the Sacramento River. Once you pass that, you are headed into the area known as the Carquinez Strait and then into San Francisco Bay.
For you SF Kossacks who attended the CA Maritime Academy meetup, that is located in the Carquinez Strait. If you leave the docks of the Academy and head west, you will find yourself in San Pablo Bay. Do you know where the salt water starts and the fresh water you drink ends? Actually, a better question is do YOU know where YOUR drinking water comes from? Some of you in the SF Bay area get your water from Hetch Hetchy, others - from the CA Delta.
So when you read and hear reports about the fragile, falling apart levees in the Delta used as justification to saddle the state with the tunnels, please remember this diary.
Update: Thank you for the rescue! Corrected diary, UCLA ran the test, not UC Berkeley. As mentioned by Isara in the comments, not everybody has heard of Jerry's announcement to build the Peripheral Canal II/aka The Tunnels. Here is a link: Gov. Jerry Brown fires first shot in new water war
For those of you who have problems playing video, here is the link to the story: