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Dear Barack, Dianne, Barbara and Jerry

President Obama who has issued more Executive Orders than any President in history could issue an Executive Order deferring water releases for the San Joaquin Restoration Program for 2014.

Dec 23, 2013

Usually we are helpless on water issues with no control over the weather or environmental regulations. This time something can be done. President Obama who has issued more Executive Orders than any President in history could issue an Executive Order deferring water releases for the San Joaquin Restoration Program for 2104.

Why should he do this? Because, none of the channel improvements required to allow these releases to be useful have been done. Therefore, hundreds of thousands of acre-feet that could be used beneficially by communities and farms in the Central Valley will be wasted for no purpose whatsoever. We have provided a draft letter for counties, cities, and other appropriate agencies to send to the President, our two California Senators, and Governor Brown.

 
 
This is a rare opportunity for a win-win on a water issue that will greatly help the San Joaquin Valley.


 

 

Dear President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500


Senator Dianne Feinstein
United States Senate
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510


Senator Barbara Boxer
United States Senate
112 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510


Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
 

 

On behalf of the (County, City or other appropriate agency) we urgently request you take action to avert a situation that will have significant detrimental economic and sociological impacts throughout much of the Southern San Joaquin Valley in 2014.

 

The San Joaquin River Restoration Program was legislated by Congress and the President in 2006 as the result of the settlement of environmental litigation. The Program has two co-equal goals: (1) Attempt to restore a self-sustaining salmon fishery, and (2) Mitigate or eliminate water losses to those who have used this water for 65 years to establish and support a multi-billion dollar economy and a robust East Side society.

 

The first few years of the Program were intended to allow time for the river improvements necessary for the river to carry restoration flows, and did not provide for full water releases because those releases would be useless and a waste of water until the required changes were made.

 

Under the schedule, full restoration flows are scheduled for 2014. However, due to budgetary, regulatory and other constraints, the required improvements have not been made. Therefore, 2014 releases will result in substantial losses to the historical users without any corresponding restoration benefit. It will be particularly acute if 2014 is another dry year.

 

Our request is a simple one. We are not seeking to have the Program or the underlying settlement repealed or modified. We only ask that full restoration releases be deferred until they can achieve the intended goals in the river. Until then, putting full restoration flows down the river does nothing but deprive farmers and communities of water. While some may argue that the devastating impacts caused by the water losses are counterbalanced by restoration benefits in the river, there can be little debate that these losses are not justified when there are no material restoration benefits because the river is not “ready” for the water.

 

We request your help in getting the President to issue an Executive Order deferring the San Joaquin River Restoration Releases for 2014. Deferral is not an abandonment of the Program, it is merely recognition that the required improvements have not been completed. and that water should always be wisely and beneficially used for the public good and not wasted.

Signed by

Cc: Other Valley City, County, and State Elected officials

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