“We know exactly what improper storage, conveyance and disposal of these contaminated drainage waters does to the environment. We saw it in Kesterson, and we don’t want to see it again. We don’t think that Westlands are going to have fish and the environment top of mind when they implement their plans.” – Noah Oppenheim, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, WaterDeeply
“It would grant the Westlands Water District a very privileged new water contract basically promising them more water than we can reliably deliver to them. That’s going to come out of the Trinity River and it would forgive hundreds of millions of dollars they owe the government for building out the project. It’s a huge giveaway for these huge powerful, very wealthy interests in the San Joaquin Valley.” – Congressman Jared Huffman, Times-Standard
While it was very helpful to have the Senate remove the Rep McCarthy drainage rider (H.R. 1769), a $320 million giveaway to the Westlands Water District, from the recent National Defense Authorization Act conference report, the leaders of Westlands are aggressively continuing to look for other vehicles to attach the bill to in the coming weeks — apparently to avoid any review of the merits of the bill on the House Floor or in the Senate.
Senator Feinstein and Senator Harris opposed including the bill rider in the Defense bill. We are asking you to call them, to thank them for the past opposition to the drainage rider for Westlands, and to ask them to insist that legislation go through regular order in Congress, including public hearings.
Let them know that you oppose a Westlands drainage settlement overall because it is a tax giveaway to the nation's largest irrigation district (top 1% of farmers) at the expense of the San Joaquin River and the Bay-Delta estuary, and the people who depend on these water resources.
Please keep the calls going through the weeks ahead. We recommend saving your elected officials' phone numbers and calling at least twice a week or aiming for everyday. Calling your elected officials is still one of the most effective methods to voice your concerns. There will be a huge push by Westlands to get this rider through before the December holiday recess in Congress. We must remain vigilant. It only takes a minute of your time.
Senator Dianne Feinstein –
Washington D.C. (202) 224-3841
District Offices: (310) 914-7300, (415) 393-0707, (559) 485-7430
Senator Kamala Harris –
Washington D.C. (202) 224-3553
District Offices: (213) 894-5000, (415) 355-9041, (559) 497-5109
We are also asking you to call your Congressional representatives and ask the same of them. Find their contact information here according to your zip code.
Thank you for your assistance. The happiest of holidays to you and your family.
Yours in Service,
Executive Director, Restore the Delta