In December, in a truly sneaky move, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, quietly and at the last minute, inserted into a 1,221-page year-end spending bill a couple of sentences that lifted restrictions designed to prevent water speculation in California.
Westlands Water District and the Kern Water Bank benefit. They can now get more from irrigation districts served by the Central Valley Project, buying subsidized water low and selling high, for development or whatever. The bill also orders a study of ways to streamline water sales, including sales from the Sacramento Valley to the southern San Joaquin Valley.
Feinstein thinks it’s a good idea to move water freely around the Central Valley, without regard for the effects on the areas the water comes from, passes through, or gets diverted around.
Moving water around with regard only for markets has been destructive of Delta farming, fishing, and habitat. And the Delta isn’t the only area that will be damaged. An article last week in the Chico News and Review outlines federal and state government programs that will empty Sacramento Valley aquifers to substitute groundwater for surface water that is sent somewhere else.
Nora Todenhagen of AquAlliance writes, “Taken together, these government programs represent a massive transfer of wealth from the family farms of Northern California to the corporate interests to the south.” Click here to read article.
It’s pretty clear whom Senator Feinstein is NOT representing.