Posted by: Jan | February 4, 2014

The latest attempt to steal water from the North


Last week’s attempt by Central Valley farmers to move water South when there is none to move was to put provisions to start the Delta pumps into the Farm Bill. Fortunately that was an unsuccessful move even though the Central Valley Representatives were able to get the House Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) to come out for a photo op to push for their changes to the Farm Bill.

After that Farm Bill trickery failed, Nunes, McCarthy and the other Central Valley representatives jumped right back in with a new bill, H.R. 3964, the “Sacramento–San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act”, also with the goal to start the pumps to move water South even though there is none to move without bringing saltwater further into the delta threatening Northern California’s drinking water, fish and farms.

Restore the Delta is calling for people to write their congressmen and tell them to vote ‘No’ on H.R. 1837. Dan Batcher has posted How to Reach your Rep to vote No on H.R. 3964 to make it easy to contact your representatives.

The media has jumped on the “No on H.R. 3964” bandwagon

Here’s a great report on News10, Attorneys Say California’s Drought was Avoidable is good. I particularly like the last part where they are clearly identifying that permanent crops being grown in the south Central Valley where water is scarce is a huge part of the issue. They say “The notion that people rely on a supply that’s sporadic and not guaranteed and plant permanent crops, is insane.”

Today’s Sacramento Bee also had two great articles:

Sac Bee Editorial on HR 3964. This is today’s Editorial criticizing Rep McCarthy and other Central Valley representatives who are pushing HR 3964 to start the pumps up so farmers can get water saying that is a narrow view and would ensure that more ocean water would encroach in the Delta, which would be destructive for Californians who depend on Delta water. They call for the Central Valley representatives to start looking for what is beneficial to the entire state, not just their area. There are reports that Gov. Brown, John Laird and others who back the BDCP are strongly opposing HR 3964.

Also in today’s Sacramento Bee, a “Viewpoints” article by Congressmembers Mike Thompson and Doris Matsui, House Emergency Drought Bill Just Another Water Grab also lambasts H.R. 3964 as just a thinly veiled attempt to use the statewide drought as an excuse to steal water from Northern California. They add that “it shows zero regard for the fishers, farmers, families and businesses dependent on the Delta for their livelihoods.”

It’s always good to keep getting the messages out:
(1) There are too many crops planted in the Central Valley that are not rotational (they are trees). They can’t be supported during times of drought.
(2) The Central Valley farmers keep making water grabs to take needed water from the north where it is needed for the fishers, farmers, families, etc.
(3) We are currently in a drought – it isn’t about the farmer versus fish – and Bills like H.R. 3964 won’t help.

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