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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | Central Valley | Environment & Forest Defense | Government & Elections
Delta group offers Senator Feinstein a better water solution
Restore the Delta offers Senator Feinstein a better water solution in their new short video: http://youtu.be/Ml_pCr2uMaE
Delta group offers Senator Feinstein a better water solution
Take action now to stop Feinstein's salmon-killing S. 2198!
by Dan Bacher
In discussing her corporate agribusiness-friendly drought relief legislation, S 2198, Senator Dianne Feinstein recently told the San Francisco Chronicle that environmentalists have “never been helpful to me in producing good water policy."
“I have not had a single constructive view from environmentalists of how to provide water when there is no snowpack,” said Feinstein in her interview, providing no documentation whatsoever for her claim. (http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Feinstein-Environmentalists-no-help-on-5481560.php)
Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of Governor Jerry Brown’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build the peripheral tunnels, on Monday announced the release of a short new video in response to Feinstein’s claim that environmentalists have “never been helpful” to her in solving California’s water resource challenges.
Restore the Delta’s storyboard video, http://youtu.be/Ml_pCr2uMaE, describes what water efficiency would accomplish for the Delta and for meeting California's water and jobs needs. RTD, along with the Environmental Water Caucus in their Responsible Water Exports Plan, has long proposed sustainable water water policies.
“Sen. Feinstein is carrying water in S 2198 for huge industrial mega-growers who have planted thousands of additional acres of almonds on dry lands in Westlands and Kern Water Districts in the midst of our three-year dry spell,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of RTD. “Sen. Feinstein’s response to this unsustainable overplanting of permanent crops on unsustainable lands without their own water supply is to strip sustainable farms and fisheries of protections so these huge growers can water their unwise plantings.”
"During times of drought, people think about big water projects as the solution because most people have seen large canals or dams that hold and convey water,” she said. “We decided to create a storyboard that shows what water efficiency looks like with easy to understand facts so that people can learn why water efficiency is the better value for each dollar spent on water infrastructure.”
“The water efficiency story will be turned into a feature video in the months ahead -- and it will tell the story of how water efficiency throughout California is the solution for the Delta and the citizens of California,” Barrigan-Parrilla concluded.
The video is here: http://youtu.be/Ml_pCr2uMaE D
Feinstein is pushing for her revised 16-page bill to pass the Senate as soon as Friday, May 23. A broad coalition of fishermen, Indian Tribes, environmentalists and family farmers is opposing the legislation, due to the disastrous impact it would have on Central Valley salmon and Delta fish populations and Delta farms.
One of the bill's most onerous provisions declares that for every acre-foot of additional San Joaquin River water flowing into the Delta from transfers or exchanges, an acre-foot must be exported for use south of the Delta. (http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/05/21/4130032/feinsteins-anti-drought-bill-may.html#storylink=cpy)
The bill also specifies that the Delta’s “Cross Channel gates” remain open as much as possible. For years, Water for Fish, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and other fishing organizations have pressured the federal and state governments to close the gates during key migration times to protect Sacramento River Chinook salmon and Central Valley steelhead.
In addition, S 2918 threatens National Wildlife Refuge water quality and supplies, potentially creating a conflict with current laws.
"The bill merges discussions of groundwater and new water purchases into one single sentence, and does not ensure our National Wildlife refuges will receive non-polluted water supplies, potentially creating a conflict with existing law and reducing essential supplies to protect the last remaining National Wildlife Refuge water supplies," Barrigan-Parrilla stated.
Take Action Now!
Urgent action is needed now to stop Feinstein's S 2918, her bail out for agribusiness bill. Please sign this petition now at:http://www.credomobilize.com/petitions/senator-feinstein-don-t-destroy-california-s-rivers-to-benefit-big-ag?akid=10731.7724976.bwWBiz&rd=1&suppress_one_click=true&t=3
Restore the Delta (RTD) is also asking you to call the offices of Senator Barbara Boxer. (202) 224-3553, and Senator Dianne Feinstein, (202) 224-3841, and let them know that you are strongly opposed to S. 2198.
According to RTD, "Senator Feinstein's bill S 2198 is a bad deal for the Delta. It will federalize water diversions from the Delta at levels that are bad for farms and fish. Even worse, as the Senator continues to sell the bill as 'temporary' drought measures, water advocates continue to find language buried in the bill that favors big corporate agribusiness on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley to the detriment of 99% of California's water users.
The bill has not been passed through normal committees and public hearings, and thus has not had to withstand public scrutiny. Plus a Senate and House conference to merge water bills will result in even greater weakened protections for the Delta -- all made behind closed doors without any public input whatsoever.
Please call the Senators' offices today and let them know of your opposition to S 2198. Tell the Senators to stop favoring a limited number of water users at the expense of Delta communities and California water users. Tell them to stop setting up the Delta for environmental failure."
Senator Barbara Boxer (202) 224-3553
Senator Dianne Feinstein (202) 224-3841