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Why would taxpayers pay tens of billions for Peripheral Tunnels for Mega-Growers of Permanent Crops on Unsuitable Land?

“Mark Borba exemplifies an overdeveloped sense of entitlement…”

Why would taxpayers pay tens of billions for Peripheral Tunnels for Mega-Growers of Permanent Crops on Unsuitable Land?

Statement from Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta “Mark Borba and his family farm on about 8500 acres in the Westlands Water District with federally subsidized water from the Delta.   Part of their land is drainage-impaired, toxic land that drains pollutants into the San Joaquin River, and thus, back into the Delta.  The Borba family has received tens of thousands of dollars in cotton subsidies since 1995, for growing this thirsty crop with Delta water on their otherwise parched land, further contributing to the drainage problems on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

“Mark Borba and family have also contributed thousands of dollars this last election cycle to Congressional Representatives McCarthy, Denham, Nunes and Costa.

“In his email exchanges Mark Borba exemplifies an overdeveloped sense of entitlement when it comes to pressuring government for water deliveries.  He believes that his political contributions should deliver results from elected officials, and net growers like him all the water that they want.

“Equally disturbing is that the Central Valley Congressional delegation seems to have no problem doing the direct bidding of their political contributors when it comes to water – rather than looking for solutions that are best for the ratepayers, taxpayers, and water users throughout all of California.

“It is also clear from the email exchange between Westlands General Manager Tom Birmingham and Mark Borba that Birmingham relies on Senator Feinstein’s office to put behind the scenes pressure on the Bureau of Reclamation to secure water deliveries for Westlands.

“Why would anyone believe that such forces could be reined in, and would cooperate with the operation of the proposed Brown twin tunnels project?  Westlands leaders will never believe they have enough water.

“In stark contrast, the family farmers, fishermen and citizens of the Delta, from the most financially successful to the most modest of families, have for thirty years been asking simply for enforcement of existing laws to protect area water quality and quantity for fisheries and communities. Their other modest request has been for levee upgrades to protect the 4 million people who live behind the levees in the five Delta counties.  Nothing more.  And instead, we are living with the threat of complete destruction to the area by Brown’s twin tunnel scheme.”

Background regarding Borba originally reported by The Fresno Bee on Monday, April 8, 2013 here.

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