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I agree that the dam should be kept. It would cost a lot in time, money, and effort to remove the dam. The theoretical removal would likely just lead to a different ecosystem being harmed in order to supply the bay area with water. This would leave the bay area with a massive reduction in water quality and quantity and only restore one of many valleys in the state, which is already ruined.
I think the dam should not be removed. I think more research would be preferable to avoid any unintended consequences since this is an important source of high-quality water for San Francisco. I also think an important aspect would be the cost of restoring the valley and the amount of benefits that would be gained from restoration. The cost for removal of the dam would also be immense.
I agree with your statement that water quality is more important than water quantity. Your examples certainly showcase some extreme examples of water quality issues. As a society we have been concerned with water quality issues since at least John Snow traced illness back to a cholera outbreak from a well in London in the 1800s. Since then, drinking water quality has become a massive part of developed country's infrastructure, as it should be, since humans are so susceptible to waterborne illnesses.
I agree that groundwater and surface water should be managed separately. It is true that collaboration between the two agencies would be necessary in order to manage them correctly. By having each agency having their respective experts for the water sources it would lead to more precise management of these important water resources.
I believe it is important to treat these two major sources of water as separate entities. If they are managed by the same agency there is a risk that one source gets preferential treatment or one gets neglected. By separating the two it can ensure that each source gets a fair chance of equal treatment. While they are joined hydrologically, they should be managed separately to ensure the proper attention is given to each source, since water is so vital to society.
I agree with your statement that the environment is vital to the survival of the human race. We depend on the environment to clean our air, provide habitat for animals, pollinate our crops, and generally support the economy. It is true that if we aren't careful we could damage the environment to the point of no return and this would be potentially disastrous for the human race.
The environment should get as much emphasis as humans in water planning and allocation since we rely on the environment for material goods and services. Pollination alone potentially provides billions of dollars in equivalent services agriculturally each year globally. Now imagine how much the forest in California provide in terms of environmental services or the wetlands or estuaries. Whether we like it or not we depend on nature to function properly and if we damage it too much the effects would likely be less than favorable.
I agree that since this discussion is over the water issues in the major regions of California, it would be best to acknowledge that it's the same state. I also agree that a system focused on necessity based water allotment would be most logical. This system could lead to more water conservation efforts in non-essential sectors and help the essential sectors maintain their current standards and over time have conservation efforts implemented for these sectors as well.
As an ethical and logical issue NorCal would need to continue to provide water to SoCal for much of the foreseeable future. It would take years and billions of dollars to build the infrastructure necessary to support SoCal's population on local water resources. Additionally, water conservation efforts would need to be made in all sectors of SoCal's economy to sustain themselves without NorCal. If done incorrectly this would undoubtedly lead to not only to a state economic crisis, but likely a national and possibly global economic crisis. If it's worth risking all of this on keeping a significantly large portion of NorCal's water in NorCal then go for it.
I agree that as a large contributor of agricultural outputs California needs to push for the regulation of NPS pollution. Nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen enter the waterways in vast quantities and can lead to eutrophication. This can lead to deadzones in various aquatic environments and have devastating consequences on ecosystems. Regulation would help to curb these issues.