Dianna Suarez: Centennial Dam a pipe dream of despot director | TheUnion.com

Dianna Suarez: Centennial Dam a pipe dream of despot director

Other Voices
Dianna Suarez

In response to the op-ed piece by John Drew on May 11, I am surprised that The Union newspaper published this confusing and disjointed jumble of New-Agey platitudes, making no cohesive point except that NID Director John Drew, the originator of the Centennial Dam boondoggle, wants his dam.

His naked attempts to manipulate public perception by grouping our citizens into “us” and “them” is particularly disturbing. The divisiveness in our nation is something that our local communities need to avoid. The Union even highlighted part of the most disturbing statement below.

“One of my concerns is the small number of folks who are not supportive of our current direction, most of which do not live in the district and do not pay taxes,” Drew wrote. “These people will not to be found if, down the road, we run out of water because of their beliefs.”

There is no rational basis for this statement. The opposition of reasonable folks with common sense is much larger than John Drew wants to admit. This attack is on the victims of John Drew’s fantasy dam who are characterized as non-taxpaying and outside district; meaning that they pay taxes in Placer County and cannot vote in District elections. The people being demonized here are the ones whose homes would be taken through eminent domain and inundated, whose rights are being trampled upon by an “out of district” water company who lies about them, and seeks to devalue their human rights to access water in a public river, given by the State of California in perpetuity, that has been part of our culture for generations.

Dismissing and devaluing the people living in the proposed inundation zone is so egregious because these are the very citizens who society needs to protect against the vagaries of powerful people like John Drew. Colfax is the only economically disadvantaged community in our area and the community targeted for attack. Piling on the blame for an uncertain water future if John Drew doesn’t get his way, is no path forward to abundance of water, good will, or cooperation. The real carpet bagger here is John Drew and the Nevada Irrigation District!

“Projects like a new reservoir will be immediately recognized as one of the most dramatic and beautiful reservoirs on the western slopes, and as our history demonstrates, will pay dividends socially, environmentally and economically for generations to come.”

This is nothing but a conflated pipe dream from the originator of a bad idea. Following this paragraph is the worst violation of decency yet as John Drew appropriates indigenous culture to proclaim the law of the Iroquois about thinking seven generations ahead. The indigenous population locally and throughout the region, both recognized and unrecognized, is solidly opposed to this project on moral and cultural grounds. To use someone else’s cultural identity to promote the killing of a river and destruction of the living ecosystem currently in place there is inexcusable.

It is time to get involved folks, and vote this despot director off the water board. “Our water future is the one thing we cannot afford to gamble with.”

Dianna Suarez lives in Colfax.

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