Water’s Not the Issue: California farmers leverage Covid-19 in bid for more water
East Bay Express 6/10/20
“But while tens of millions of pounds of food has been destroyed or buried in the ground, a band of California’s farmers is claiming they can’t produce enough food to feed Americans, and they’re using the pandemic as leverage to grab more of the West’s scarce water.
“For Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of the group Restore the Delta, the letters come off as grabs at water from the heavily strained Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, which her group has fought for years to protect. Heavy water diversions from the Delta have driven native fish species toward extinction—notably Delta smelt and several runs of Chinook salmon.
“The way farmers are behaving now is disaster capitalism,” Barrigan-Parrilla said. “They’re taking advantage of a time when everything is in chaos and people are suffering to try and grab what they can.”
Delta Flows: California water during national crisis (Part 1)
Restore the Delta 6/8/20
“While we and our colleagues continue to litigate against bad federal and state policies intended to rob the Delta of its waters, Westlands Water District continues to ramp up its efforts to secure every last drop of water at the expense of the Delta, and frankly everyone else in California, grabbing what they can during what may be, the final months of the Trump Administration…
“Westlands, hiding under the chaos resulting from the pandemic and within the secretive nature of the Department of Interior, has no regard for the environmental health of communities of color. The Newsom administration, which sees itself as environmentally sensitive, is defunding essential programs to protect people from environmental degradation, resulting to a significant degree from Westlands’ farming operations, without thinking through the consequences of this defunding.”