The Big News
Oct 20, 2018
The BIG news: Trump signed an executive order today to help valley farms, families and cities by making water more reliable and available. The order is long and complicated, but specifics on what this means and how it will be accomplished are multifaceted. Once we get the text of the order we'll be able to dissect it further, together. What did you hear? Here is what I took away from it:
1. It will expedite the rewrite of the Biological Opinions which often keep the pumps (responsible for enabling water to be captured and stored rather than going to the ocean) ratcheted down to a trickle.
2. It will expedite a timely review of the Endangered Species Act and mandate that the best available science is used. It leaves the Act in place, but will weigh its impact on endangered species vs. the economy and the human impact. There will be a reinterpretation of the ESA, and likely some new accountability to show results.
3. Will prioritize building new major water storage projects, removing certain federal regulations put into place by prior administrations, and will cut through and streamline bureaucratic red tape.
4. Will dramatically improve reliability and supply of water to people and food producers to the tune of more than a million acre-feet. (An acre foot is a year's worth of water for 8-10 people.)
More will be revealed, but this is some great news!