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State Water Contractors Not Satisfied Until They Grab Every Last Drop Out of Delta Watershed

For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 18, 2015
Contact: Steve Hopcraft 916/457-5546; [email protected]; Twitter: @shopcraft;
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla 209/479-2053 [email protected]; Twitter: @RestoretheDelta;
Bill Jennings, CSPA, 209-464-5067

Tunnels Opponents: State Water Contractors Not Satisfied Until They Grab Every Last Drop Out of Delta Watershed
Salmon & Other Fisheries Near Extinction,
Delta Farmers Reduce Water Use by 25%,
State Water Contractors Say It’s Not Enough

Sacramento, CA – Restore the Delta (RTD), the leading opponents of Gov. Brown’s rush to build massive underground water tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom sustainable farms, salmon and other Pacific fisheries, today responded to the Metropolitan Water District and the State Water Contractor’s complaint against the State Water Resources Control Board that Delta farmers are stealing water that “belongs” to State Water Contractors.
“The pumps for the State Water Projects have yet to be turned off one day during the drought. Water quality standards are being violated in the Delta each and every day this year, impacting Delta urban water users and family farms. We are perilously close to losing Delta smelt, and our iconic salmon fisheries, and despite Delta family farms already taking a voluntary 25 percent reduction in water use, the State Water Contractors believe the Delta should be made into a complete sacrifice zone for their water exports,” said Restore the Delta executive director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla.
Pressured by the Metropolitan Water District and Kern County Water Agency, the Delta and California’s reservoirs have been mismanaged by the Department of Water Resources and the Bureau of Reclamation during the drought so that these agencies could continue to export as much water as possible despite the negative impacts on the Bay-Delta estuary. DWR and the Bureau of Reclamation failed to hold back enough water for continued drought conditions despite warnings to do so by fishery and environmental water groups throughout the state.
“State and Federal contractors, who have been illegally storing water that belongs to others for years, should not accuse Delta farmers of stealing some of their stolen water, on the basis of a seriously flawed study, with a long list of unsupported assumptions,” said Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance.
“As the weeks go by, it becomes clearer and clearer that the only way to stop the over pumping of the SF Bay-Delta estuary, and Governor Brown’s planned tunnels project, is for an adjudication of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed. The problem is that we do not have the water to meet the insatiable demand of special interest growers in California, like those in the Kern County Water Agency, or the Metropolitan Water District, which used up the majority of its three-year stored water supply in 2014, and only began to get serious about conservation this year,” added Barrigan-Parrilla.

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  • Tim
    June 22, 2015, 9:59 pm

    Good work George. No exported water should be supplied to the desert region for permanent crops. Also in drought conditions no water for recreational use should be provided for the ultimate use of the MWD. Evaporative losses in these hot weather climates are much more than can be saved by residential conservation. It is time for MWD and Kern to live within their own water means which will require significant cutbacks instead of destruction of the delta and river systems. Out of control corporate agriculture is destroying California! Agricultural landowners pay virtually no taxes but demand outrageous benefits with their almost limitless use of lobbyists under a variety of names. Dial back the agricultural, permanent crop acreage to that of 1979 and then we can talk about other conservation and sustainable uses.