For Immediate Release: 4/8/20
Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 209-479-2053, [email protected]
Stockton, CA – Six Congressional Representatives sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday 4/7/20 to express their “disappointment and serious concerns with the new Incidental Take Permit (ITP) for the Long-Term Operation of the State Water Project that your administration recently issued.”
At issue is how much water the State Water Project will pump to wealthy farm interests in the Southern San Joaquin Valley. The water buffalos of California seem upset that the universally criticized ITP would save ANY flows through the Delta to protect Delta water quality or endangered species of native fish on the brink of extinction.
Ag-friendly politicians would prefer the state obey standards created by the Trump administration despite the sham science required to get results favorable to Westlands.
The congressional letter was simultaneously accompanied by a statement from Westlands Water District, to put additional pressure on Governor Newsom.
Westlands President Dan Errotabere said of his loyal Congressional Representatives:
“The Members also observed correctly that conflicting operations criteria imposed under the federal biological opinions and the State incidental take permit will frustrate coordinated operations of the CVP and SWP, will lead to new conflicts, and will make it impossible finalize Voluntary Agreements.”
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director, Restore the Delta responded:
Minority Leader McCarthy and Westlands Water District’s “surrender Dorothy” advocacy directed at Governor Newsom during the COVID pandemic is unconscionable. With increased exports, water quality in the Delta not only deteriorates for fish, but for the 4 million residents of the estuary.
As our nation’s poorer communities will be struggling with food security with related pandemic problems, farmers demanding water for almonds for export to Asia is simply out of line. Delta farmers and others who grow grains, vegetables, fruits and sustainable nut crops for Americans first matter most presently, as well as people in and outside of the Delta, who rely on water for domestic use. We must focus on protecting people in addition to the fisheries of the estuary, more than ever, and stop the water grab during this crisis.