For Immediate Release: March 2, 2020
Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 209-479-2053, [email protected]
Stockton, CA – Late Friday, Californians learned of a deal between the Trump Administration and Westland water district that would give “permanent” water contracts to the most arid farmlands of California.
Westlands Water District gets permanent U.S. contract
for massive irrigation deliveries – LAT 2/28/20
“The Interior Department on Friday awarded the nation’s largest farm water district a permanent entitlement to annual irrigation deliveries that amount to roughly twice as much water as the nearly 4 million residents of Los Angeles use in a year.
“Gaining a permanent contract for so much cheap Central Valley Project water represents a major milestone for Westlands Water District, which supplies some of the state’s wealthiest growers and has long-standing ties to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.”
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, responded:
“So with the help of David Bernhardt and the Trump Administration, the Westlands Water District gets a permanent water contract and claims it is an Obama mandate. The Delta and 99 percent of Californians lose.“The Delta, Northern California Tribes, and water users were never consulted.
Westlands and the US Bureau of Reclamation have failed to follow the law and have made a mockery of Senator Feinstein’s claim that existing laws such as NEPA and the Endangered Species Act would be strictly adhered to under the WIIN Act. USBR and WWD have not complied with the Central Valley Improvement Act. The public has yet to see the contract and its supporting documents. These are a few of the many reasons we will be joining our partners in litigation.
“At a time of unprecedented climate changes and droughts we should not be circumventing the law and promising by federal contract far more water than actually exists to one large irrigation group at the expense of others.”