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Peripheral Tunnels Opponents Respond to State’s Draft Action Plan for Water: “Greenwashing the Water Grab”

For Immediate Release: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Contact: Steve Hopcraft 916/457-5546; [email protected]; Twitter: @shopcraft; @MrSandHillCrane; Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla 209/479-2053 [email protected]; Twitter: @RestoretheDelta

Peripheral Tunnels Opponents Respond to State’s Draft
Action Plan for Water:
“Greenwashing the Water Grab”

STOCKTON, CA – Restore the Delta, opponents of Gov. Brown’s Peripheral Tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom salmon and other Pacific fisheries, today responded to the release by the Brown Administration of a draft “State Action Plan for Water.” Restore the Delta Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla said:

“The Brown Administration is deliberately tying together the policies that Restore the Delta and the broader environmental community support for regional water self- sufficiency to the construction of the peripheral tunnels in order to greenwash the water grab. As economist Dr. Jeffrey Michael from the University of the Pacific has noted, if we move toward a sustainable water policy through the creation of regional projects, the economic benefit for constructing the tunnels disappears. The Resources Agency gave the Kern County Water Agency and the Westlands Water District cover this morning by overstating the economic importance of agriculture to the State (Westlands and Kern contribute less than .3% to the State’s GDP). Governor Brown is more than willing to craft the State’s water plan in such a way as to accommodate the unreasonable desires of these water takers who want to transform their agencies into water brokers.

“While we welcome a State effort to make conservation a way of life, to improve regional water self-reliance, to improve flood protection, and to provide drinking water for all communities, Water Bond Campaign expert Joe Caves’ recent polling shows the proposed water bond would fail due to lack of support for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. The Governor’s delegates from the Office of Planning and Research are beginning to hold conversations with water leaders throughout the State, except that Delta water experts will not be included in the conversations.

“As indicated in a recently crafted document by the Kern County Water Agency, water contractors are seeking answers as to whether they will be able to transfer BDCP water out of their agency, and how much of the project will be subsidized by the State and Federal Governments. This points out that those behind the BDCP intend to resell water from this project while relying on taxpayer subsidies for delivery of that water.

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