They had the luxury of seeing what happens when farmers don't unite by observing what happened here in the Central Valley.
Oct 04, 2016
The Northern San Joaquin Valley is fighting back to stop the environmental water grab on their rivers. They actually appear to be uniting in their opposition. Of course, they had the luxury of seeing what happens when farmers don't unite by observing what happened here in the Central Valley. Even their newspaper, the Modesto Bee, looks to be on their side.
Here are some articles that we've seen in the Modesto Bee and other North Valley newspapers since the State Water Resources Control Board came out with their flow recommendations a couple of weeks ago. As you can see, the newspapers, the county supervisors, the locally elected state representatives and water districts have rallied to fight the regulations. We don't know if they'll be successful, but we do know what doesn't work. What doesn't work is leaders who sit on their hands while our water goes down the river and out to sea. It still might not be too late to learn something from our neighbors to the north, and hold our state and federal elected representatives responsible for losing our water without even trying to fight for us.
Two lawmakers from the Modesto area urged a state board on Tuesday to rethink a plan for greatly increasing river flows.
The doubling of reservoir releases into the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers would devastate the region’s already wobbly economy, Assembly members Kristin Olsen and Adam Gray told the State Water Resources Control Board.
State plan for rivers doesn’t hold water, MID says
“This really is awful,” said the MID’s John Mensinger. Although two of his fellow board members were absent Tuesday, the other three approved a formal resolution condemning the state’s “regulatory overreach.”
MID and its partner on the Tuolumne, the Turlock Irrigation District, estimated damage that would have been caused in this region if the plan had been in place in 2015, and found that the area would have lost $1.6 billion in economic output, $167 million in farm products, 6,576 jobs and a corresponding $330 million in wages. Also, because of drought rules last year, neither district would have delivered a of river water to farmers, they said.
Twin tunnels, Delta and Tuolumne are all connected
For the governor, the State Water Resources Control Board and many of the special interest groups that profit from our state and federal water systems, this is a no-brainer.
For them, water from our rivers is new water – which can be used to offset their own, over-obligated water sources.
And they get it for free.
That is why the state water board is so insistent on an enormous increase in flows from the Merced, Stanislaus and Tuolumne rivers.
Meeting on river flows gets tense at times
The farmer-heavy crowd said it has heard such promises before regarding the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers, only to see the state ignore their concerns.
“There’s nothing,” Stanislaus County Supervisor Terry Withrow said. “It’s just on deaf ears.”
Merced Sun-Star is not impressed with the state's explanation: They write, “There was nothing ambiguous in what representatives of the State Water Resources Control Board heard Wednesday morning: “We definitely want to deliver a message,” said Stanislaus County Supervisor Terry Withrow. “We want to call BS. This is an insult to our intelligence.” Withrow was speaking to Les Grober, a high-ranking state water board staffer who attended a packed meeting of the Stanislaus Water Advisory Committee in downtown Modesto. And those weren’t the angriest or loudest words Grober and two other board staffers heard. … ” Read more from the Merced Sun-Star here: Not impressed with the state’s explanation
Tensions were high at the Stanislaus County Water Advisory Committee meeting Wednesday morning as local water representatives clashed with State Water Resources Control Board officials during a discussion on the latter’s proposal to cut water use for the benefit of fish and wildlife.
“Wednesday’s meeting was disappointing. The State Water Board continues its narrative that the only thing fish need is more water, and that water must come from our region, because their science says so,” said Turlock Irrigation District spokesman Herb Smart.
Who will go extinct first, salmon or Valley farmers?
Here, on the front lines of the state’s recently declared water war, we have more questions than ammunition.
Is the State Water Resources Control Board serious? Is the water board even in charge? Was Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for “voluntary agreements,” instead of regulatory demands, a suggestion or an order? Who will go extinct first – salmon or farmers?
OK, that’s a rhetorical question; salmon have a huge head start. But the race isn’t over. To recap:
Learn from history … fight to keep your water
At an important meeting last week in Modesto, The Bee reported, Francisco Canela, a member of the Stanislaus County Water Advisory Committee, asked one of the state’s top water regulators a great question:
“Where’s the end game for this community? That’s our concern. We’re giving more water and more water, and we aren’t getting anything back.”
The short answer to Canela’s question is that the community will never get back any water or anything else.
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