A Press Release from Westlands yesterday stated “Westlands Pulls Its Support from Bay Delta Conservation Plan In Response to Political Interference from Interior Department.” The Westlands Water District is responsible for the San Joaquin Valley farm irrigation district.
We think this could be a good thing. The BDCP process has been flawed from the start and its plans are a serious threat to Delta Communities and the Delta itself.
In their Press Release, Thomas W. Birmingham, General Manager of Westlands states “Through this action we are trying to get BDCP back on track,” or in other words, Westland wants any restrictions on the amount of water exported removed in order to continue to fund the BDCP.
The Sacramento Bee reported this morning that Westlands recently realized that Obama’s Interior Department is likely to demand reduced water diversions as part of a completed Bay Delta Conservation Plan. When this issue was raised at a meeting with a top Interior official in Washington two weeks ago, Westlands officials stormed out of the room.
The Press Release sounds like a Westlands scare tactic. Birmingham states “And without a project to fix the water supply problem, California won’t have the means to restore the Delta either.”
“Jonas Minton, a senior project manager at the Planning and Conservation League who monitors California water issues, noted the water agencies involved have never offered to pay for Delta habitat projects – only for new water diversion plumbing. So Westlands’ move may not jeopardize any environmental improvements associated with the waterworks.”
For the full Sacramento Bee article click here.