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Everything we do and all we've accomplished does cost money, and we hope you agree with us that what we are doing is necessary and vital to our future.
Nov 18, 2013
When FPV began educating people about the SJ River Restoration in 2009, that was pretty much our main focus, but we soon found ourselves enmeshed in comprehensive California water policy from A to Z. As we explored problems in the Delta, called stressors, we found that the stress of pumping water to farmers in the Central Valley and the people of SoCal was the only stressor being addressed. It was the stressor environmentalists had targeted, the easiest to deal with. They had the political power and population of the Bay Area on their side and used it to shut our water down. Not only did they take water from the Westside, but they also took water from the San Joaquin River on the eastside of our Valley and then got the pumps turned off that would have allowed us to get some of it back.
That led us to find the real killer of fish in the Delta, the partially treated sewage coming from Sacramento and other Delta cities. The significant concentrations of ammonia in the wastewater not only endanger smelt, but also other fish and plant life. Despite health problems for the smelt, striped bass are thriving in the same water. Part of the reason they are thriving is because they are predators that eat smelt and salmon. The unhealthy ecosystem doesn't seem to be a problem for them. You'd think that if non-endangered bass were eating endangered smelt and salmon, the federal and state regulators would allow an increase on the catch limit for bass, but no. The Dept. of Fish and Game refused to increase the limit up from the current two.
Scientists have found 42 stressors in the Delta, an additional 39 over the three we are talking about: water pumped to the south, the striped bass and the wastewater. The only stressor that is ever dealt with is the water pumped to us and SoCal. Sacramento has been ordered to clean up their water, but fought it for three years and was finally given another ten years to get it done. We will have to deal with low allocations while they are given time to clean up their act.
While bureaucrats and environmentalists continue to short-change us on water, they are creating another ecological disaster while claiming to save the Delta. They are collapsing the Valley's underground aquifer. By taking so much surface water, they force farmers to pump additional water from the underground. Now, they say groundwater must be regulated as well. If you read our newsletters, you know we saw it all coming.
There is a lot of educating left to do. We are up to the challenge. We also need your help. If you think our efforts are worthwhile we need your contributions. We want you to know we are a frugal group. We get a lot of bang for the buck, but we still need a few bucks. It takes time and effort to update our website daily at familiesprotectingthevalley.com, we have written over 400 newsletters in the past 4 years, sent out over 500,000 fliers, we're running educational commercials on 50,000 watt KMJ in Fresno thanks to friends like Gar Tootelian, Inc., and are getting free commercials as well on 50,000 watt KNZR in Bakersfield thanks to GM Mary Lou Gunn.
We are set to run a radio campaign in conjunction with a website to put pressure on locally elected city councils and boards of supervisors.
FPV is one of the few water groups fighting to get our message out to the general public as well as elected officials. The issues we took on four years ago are becoming more mainstream. Supervisors across the Valley are taking stands on the California Water Bond and withholding their support if storage is not included in a meaningful way. People can now see that river restoration wastes water and doesn't do anything for the fish. The striped bass, the wastewater, the aquifers are all mainstream issues. We think we've had a lot to do with it. We continue to fight for 'right now' solutions because we can't wait for 20-years for dams and tunnels.
As we see it, the solution is for the Valley’s elected officials (both Democrats and Republicans) to be united in demanding that the Valley have an adequate and affordable water supply for now and the future. Over the years, the problem has been bi-partisan with the first President Bush signing the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) in 1992, to the present when California's two Democratic Senators, both from the Bay Area, consistently only give lip service to helping the Valley while ensuring that the Bay Area continues to get virtually free water with no environmental obligations. What would happen if the Valley’s elected officials spoke as one voice on water issues?
We also comment on other issues affecting the Valley. One of those has been High-Speed Rail. We have nothing against new technology in general or trains in particular. However, this project appears to be ill-conceived, poorly funded, and in the early years very hostile to agricultural interests. It also seemed to ignore the very regulations and laws which authorized the effort such as following existing transportation corridors and minimizing impacts to farm land. But the real concern for our Valley is that HSR would tie up billions of dollars that could and should be used to solve the state and Central Valley's grave water situation.
We continue to be concerned about local officials especially in the Fresno area who continue to be cheerleaders for the project while oblivious to the detrimental effects on their neighbors and what is going to be a major economic impact to their county and cities when the water runs out. We feel some inspired and thoughtful leadership on their part could have possibly led to some ‘win-win’ solutions.
Everything we do and all we've accomplished does cost money, and we hope you agree with us that what we are doing is necessary and vital to our future. If you agree, please make a donation allowing us to continue.
There are two ways to make your generous donations:
One is by credit card on our website www.familiesprotectingthevalley.com and clicking on
Or by sending your check by mail to:
Families Protecting the Valley
11409 Road 26 ½ Madera, CA 93637
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