≡ Categories

Pressure behind the Ayes

On Monday, the Legislature voted to postpone the water bond to 2012, demonstrating once again that they are incapable of making decisions about water with calm deliberation and in the light of day. The Senate backed postponement from the outset, but the Assembly took several votes, with Jared Huffman arguing to keep the measure on the ballot or pull it altogether and revise it, leaving the ballot date open. It took until 9:35 p.m. for the last Assembly holdouts, Assembly Member Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara) and Assembly Member Sandre Swanson (D-Alameda), to respond to pressure from legislative leadership and vote to postpone. Thanks to Food and Water Watch, we know exactly who is behind the pressure. In a fact sheet [...]

When green is not “green”

Let’s look at development in arid regions of the state. We really hate to quote the Public Policy Institute of California, creator of the Apocalypse vision of the Delta. But in a 2005 report, “Lawns and Water Demand in California,” the PPIC estimated that the amount of irrigated landscaping in California equaled the size of Westlands Water District.According to our own researcher, Deirdre Des Jardins, “The report says that California’s Landscape Task Force concluded that outdoor use constitutes about half of residential demand in the state (California Urban Water Conservation Council, 2005), which was about 5.8 MAF in 2005, according to the 2005 California Water Plan.“That would mean that residential landscaping uses as much as 2.9 MAF of water – [...]

What percentage of California’s water comes from the Delta?

While calling for smarter use of the water we have (a subject short-changed by the water bond), we need to keep pointing out the flawed implication in DWR’s oft-reported statement that two-third of Californians are served by water from the Delta.The suggestion, always, is that the well-being of a large percentage of Californians depends on fixing this fragile region we call the Delta.Really, how many Californians rely on water from the Delta?There are lots of questions here, including what constitutes reliance on water from a particular source. If you rely on that source, how much do you “need”? Enough to drink? That plus enough to flush your toilet, shower, and run your garbage disposal? All those plus enough to wash [...]

Despite Lack of Public Support, Legislature Delays Bad Water Bond Instead of Dumping it Altogether

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Roger Salazar (916) 284-1255 No on Proposition 18: Despite Lack of Public Support, Legislature Delays Bad Water Bond Instead of Dumping it Altogether Bond’s prospects just as poor in 2012 as it is in 2010Sacramento, August 9 – Members of the No on Proposition 18 Coalition today agreed with legislators who admitted that the $11 billion water bond is immensely unpopular with voters, but did not expect support to improve by 2012, when the measure is now scheduled to be placed on the ballot.“The bond is bad now and it will be bad two years from now,” said Elanor Starmer, Western Region Director of Food & Water Watch, a consumer group organizing against the water bond. “The Governor [...]

Urgent Alert: Stop the $11 Billion Water Bond, Call your legislators today!

Dear Friends, Call your legislator today: No on A.B. 1265! No water bond! We’ve just heard that the California Legislature is taking up a bill on Monday that would move Proposition 18, the $11 billion water bond, to the 2012 ballot. This is a huge mistake. The bond should be scrapped entirely, not postponed. Can you call your legislators today and ask them to vote NO on A.B. 1265? A vote for A.B. 1265 is a vote for the water bond, and we don’t want that! We’ve done the research and found that the main beneficiaries of the bond would be developers, construction companies and corporate agribusinesses — the same interests that have overused and polluted our water in the [...]

No on A.B. 1265 – No on postponing the water bond to 2012

The No on 18 campaign today announced its opposition to A.B. 1265, a bill to postpone the $11billion water bond from this November’s ballot to 2012. “A vote for A.B. 1265 is a vote for the water bond,” said Jim Metropulos of the Sierra Club California. “Legislators should do what’s right for California and vote down this attempt to delay the measure – not try to hoodwink voters by postponing it for two years.” Governor Schwarzenegger proposed postponing the measure to 2012 when polling numbers showed low support for the bond, which would cost California taxpayers $22 billion over 30 years to fund projects such as the construction of new dams. “Voters know that the bond is bad for California,” said [...]

Who’s Bankrolling the Push for Prop 18?

SAN FRANCISCO – Developers, agribusiness and construction interests would benefit from the water bond on this fall’s ballot, while public services—such as education and public health programs—could suffer, according to a new analysis from consumer organization Food & Water Watch.As California’s legislators return to Sacramento this week to decide the fate of Proposition 18, an $11 billion water bond that the governor hopes to postpone to the 2012 ballot, the group today released an independent analysis detailing the funders of the pro-bond campaign and the interests that stand to benefit from the most expensive water bond in the state’s history. The fact sheet, Who’s Behind the Bond?, can be downloaded here: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/california/no-water-bond/whos-behind-the-bond/.“Proposition 18 is being sold as a solution that [...]

Worthy of guarded optimism

The State Water Resources Control Board this week adopted the report on flow criteria that was required by last November’s SBX7 1 on Delta Governance and the Delta Plan. Based on the best available science, the report affirms what people in the Delta have known for decades: You can’t have a healthy Delta when you are sending so much water somewhere else.Specifically, the report says that “to preserve the attributes of a natural variable system to which native fish species are adapted,” the Delta needs 75% of unimpaired outflow from January through June, 75% of unimpaired Sacramento River inflow from November through June, and 60% of unimpaired San Joaquin River inflow from February through June.Meeting these criteria would require major [...]

Keep your eye on the ball

Of more immediate interest to people in the Delta is the new Watermaster, Craig Wilson, who was introduced at this week’s Water Board hearing. The Watermaster position was created by the Delta Reform Act of 2009.According to the Water Board’s press release, “The Delta Watermaster will act with a high degree of independence within the Delta to implement and enforce existing water rights laws and State Water Resources Control Board permits, licenses, and decisions and authority to issue a notice of proposed cease and desist order or administrative civil liability complaint.”Carolee Krieger, executive director of the California Water Impact Network, has said that the legislation creating the Watermaster position was developed under pressure of west side San Joaquin Valley agribusiness [...]

Delta water users dismiss call for steep cutbacks

By Mike Taugher Contra Costa Times SACRAMENTO — A powerful state board on Tuesday for the first time adopted criteria defining how much water must flow through the Delta to the Bay to maintain a healthy ecosystem. The criteria, while nonbinding, are based on findings that showed the state’s farms and cities are using far too much Delta water, results that could shift how policymakers balance the needs of the environment and the state’s farms and cities. “This is something that some of us have been awaiting for more than two decades,” said Zeke Grader, executive director of a trade group for commercial salmon fishermen, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. Grader and several environmentalists said the report’s central [...]