It is clear from recent media stories that Westlands Water District is aggressively pushing the Newsom Administration to not litigate against the Bernhardt/Trump Water Plan that will significantly increase pumping from the San Francisco Bay-Delta. Westlands is now threatening to walk away from the “voluntary agreements” to set flow standards for the Delta.
The problem is the voluntary agreements, from what we understand, will be worse than the Bay-Delta plan approved at the end of 2018. Little water is being allocated for Delta flows during the summer and fall months when Delta waterways are in peril from proliferating Harmful Algal Blooms.
Not surprisingly, Senator Dianne Feinstein, as is customary, is working to help Westlands by putting her own pressure on Governor Newsom. It is sort of amazing to see Senator Feinstein collaborating with Secretary Bernhardt of the Department of Interior, with DOI investigations pending, to increase pumping from the estuary.
Here’s what we need to remind Governor Newsom.
1. Westlands does not run California water policy, the Newsom Administration does.
2. Westlands is seeking permanent delivery contracts and extreme pumping from the Delta to continue farming drainage impaired, polluted lands until they can begin selling water transfers – all at the expense of the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas.
3. With algal blooms increasing during warm weather every year now, water policies that reduce flows in the Delta are a public health threat to the people who live near the Delta. Cyanobacteria from algal blooms is dangerous for wildlife, pets, small children, drinking water supplies, irrigation for farming, and becomes airborne. Stockton, the Delta’s largest environmental justice community, is already suffering from dangerous surface water problems six months of the year and bad air quality.
Now it’s time for you to ask the Governor, who is he going to side with? Big corporate farms from Westlands, all tied to corruption in the Department of Interior and the Trump Administration? Or with the people he promised to protect with his new and improved social contract for California – disadvantaged communities, and everyday middleclass people who are the backbone of the state?
And remember, every time the Federal or State government guts another water/species protection law, they make it that much easier to fill a big new Delta tunnel with lots of water.
Here is how you can reach Governor Newsom.
As always, be polite and respectful. Represent the Delta well.
By email: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov40mail/
By phone: (916) 445-2841
Thank you for your help.
Yours in service,
Restore the Delta