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Calinsanity!

No matter how badly their plans fail, they win.

Jul 08, 2018

Unelected bureaucrats have again proposed to take more water from farmers in their unsuccessful attempt to save endangered fish.  This isn't the first time farmers have lost water to fish and it probably won't be the last and we'll itemize the history in a below.  

In this Sacramento Bee article the State Water Resources Control Board says "more water must be devoted to fish to prevent environmental disaster. Several major species of fish are nearing extinction, and increasing river flows will help them survive."  Board Chair Felicia Marcus says the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is "on the verge of collapse" and will officially vote on the proposal in August.

As we have documented many times, for over 25-years more and more water has been dedicated to the environment through various policy changes with little to show when it comes to results.  The policies never include specific goals to achieve, never have consequences for those who make these decisions, and only hurt farmers.  Here are the changes we've seen since 1992:

1992: Central Valley Project Improvement Ace (CVPIA) - dedicated about 1,400,000 acre-feet per year (enough to irrigate over 500,000 acres or serve 2,000,000 valley households) from the federal Central Valley Project to fish and wildlife purposes. Result: no improvement in fish populations
 
1993: The Endangered Species Act listing of the winter run Chinook salmon stripping away another 250,000 to 800,000 AF/yr. Result: no improvement in fish populations.
 
1994: The ESA listing of the delta smelt. Result: no improvement in fish populations.
 
1995: The CalFed Bay/Delta program that collectively stripped the CVP and State Water Project of another 1,100,000 AF/yr. Result: no improvement in fish populations.
 
Since 1995: There’s been even more regulatory actions the sum total of which have removed over 5,000,000 AF/yr. – more than the entire capacity of Lake Shasta or 10 times that of Millerton Lake.  Result: no improvement in fish populations.

2006:  The San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement  takes several hundred thousands of acre feet from farmers.

Now this, the battle for the Sanislaus, Merced and Toulumne rivers.   According to a staff report the board's proposal would take an average of 288,000 acre feet away from the "cities of San Francisco, Modesto and Merced and hundreds of farms in the San Joaquin Valley."

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.  What is the goal of this plan?  What specific changes to they expect?  How many fish?  What changes to the Delta ecosystem?  The environmental side of the equation never has accountability or consequences.  No matter how badly their plans fail, they win.  Farmers, meanwhile, suffer the consequences of their insane actions.  The California Farm Water Coalition says this plan will cost 6500 jobs.  The California Farm Bureau says there will be "staggering" human costs.  

Today's Modesto Bee headlines:  "Job losses, farm cuts and other devastating impacts predicted from state's water plan", "We must fight the water grab, not just talk about it", and we have to hand it to the Modesto Bee, they've been all over this for a long time but it hasn't made a bit of difference.  Problem is they probably support the politicians who support the Governor who appoints these unelected bureaucrats who go on to make these decisions. 

But remember, the war never ends.  In out next newsletter we'll tell you which rivers are next.

 

California has a new plan for allocating its water, and it means less for farmers

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