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Restore the Delta Responds To Brown and Trump Administrations’ Secret Negotiations on California Water

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For Immediate Release: 12/15/18

Contact:
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 209-479-2053
Tim Stroshane, 510-847-7556

Restore the Delta Responds To Brown and Trump Administrations’ Secret Negotiations on California Water
On his way out of office, Governor Brown…
SACRAMENTO – This morning, The Sacramento Bee broke the news:
California cedes water to feds in Delta deal with Trump
Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow write:
“Southern Californians could lose billions of gallons of water a year to Central Valley farmers under a deal Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has struck with water officials working for President Donald Trump. Click here for the full article.“There’s no guarantee the agreement with Trump will accomplish what Brown’s team is seeking: a lasting compromise on environmental regulations that could stave off significant water shortfalls for farms and cities across California. A powerful state agency, the State Water Resources Control Board, hasn’t yet signed off on Brown’s compromise environmental proposal. Environmental groups have called the governor’s idea woefully insufficient to save ailing fish populations.“Brown’s administration also made a separate concession to the Trump administration on the governor’s controversial Delta tunnels project, to the dismay of environmental groups that oppose the tunnels.

More background. California Department of Water Resources spokeswoman Erin Mellon said “The Brown administration gave federal officials a ‘no-harm agreement’ that says the Central Valley Projects customers won’t lose any water if the Delta tunnels are built.” She elaborated that if CVP customers were to lose water, they would be compensated with cash, or some other water.

The irony in the Sacramento Bee story is that Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth describes this deal as not a quid pro quo, when that is exactly what it is.  Similarly, Metropolitan Water District’s General Jeff Kightlinger “defended the horse-trading” and increased water exports to industrial agriculture saying the compromise on environmental regulations is needed.

Restore the Delta’s executive director, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, responded:
“Governor Brown is giving the Trump Administration domain over California’s rivers, the Bay-Delta estuary, fish and wildlife, drinking water systems for millions of people, and the state’s water rights system, all for his boondoggle Delta tunnels project. While President Trump is under investigation for betraying his office, Governor Brown is betraying California’s people, environment, and sustainable water future. This is who Governor Brown has chosen to do business with, instead of the impacted parties of his horse trade.
“This isn’t an enduring environmental legacy. It is Governor Brown’s desperate, yet dangerous swan song for California, aided and abetted by California’s Department of Water Resources and Metropolitan Water Districts of Southern California, the largest landowner in the Delta.  It is an attempted water coup, nothing less.”

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