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Public Responses



Feb 01, 2019

A quote by Felicia Marcus, California Water Policy Conference, April 2016, Davis, CA:

“We have millions more people than the last big drought that even came close. We have more irrigated Ag dependent on the same of water. Why? Because Ag has become so much more efficient. They haven’t put the water back in, they’ve used it to grow twice as much food and fiber production value than they had 20 years ago.”

This is more about the mindset of Ms. Marcus than what she actually says. What she actually says is nonsensical and misleading. If farmers are using water to grow food and fiber, I think they are putting it “back in”, don’t you? If they were not putting it “back in”, we would have no food or fiber.

What you should hear when reading a statement like hers is that she does not consider the irrigation of food and fiber an act of groundwater recharge. After all, publicly she can’t! If she did, she would have to admit that declining groundwater levels coincides with the disappearance of surface supplies of water over the past three decades. She would have to admit the last time California faced declining aquifers of the magnitude we are apparently facing, our “leaders” acted in a way that benefited the lives of every living thing. Instead of spending years filled with babbling explanations of how complex the problems are, they started building infrastructure. She would have to admit that dams of all things, are an absolute necessity for any population to both sustain itself and save itself from catastrophic floods.

She also says Ag uses water to “grow twice as much food and fiber production value than they had 20 years ago.” Listen to her words. She didn’t stop at twice: “twice as much food and fiber.” She says "value". She is apparently not as much concerned with the amount of acres you grow, but the amount of money she assumes you are making.

She also says, “than they had 20 years ago.” In this statement, there is no appreciation for what she needs every single day. That would be three meals! There is a conscience effort to create disconnect with what American agriculture provides and the need for that supply. This disconnect is meant to free-up land and resources, abolish rights, and gain control. It is a purposeful disconnect to downplay the importance of the ability to feed ourselves. Very dangerous.

Ms. Marcus and many like her, including Governors, legislators, special interest groups, and lobbyists, will engage in a costly and grandiose battle to stop an expansion of a dam that costs $1.3 Billion (Shasta). Simultaneous to that, they are pursuing a train that will likely cost $100 Billion, which only $10 Billion was approved by voters to begin funding. While these people line up and ready for the fight to stop your ability to receive more water, they are forcing upon every taxpayer, a project that is different than what voters approved, is not funded by who they said it would be, and won’t even be “high speed.”

While they and the media scream “Wild and Scenic Rivers” when referring to the McCloud River, they had no issue with the boring and concrete filling of giant holes in the bottom of the San Joaquin River. In 2017, construction on Lanes Bridge north of Fresno was halted because of the presence of Central Valley Steel head and Chinook salmon in the San Joaquin River below. Meanwhile, a few miles away, construction in and over the San Joaquin River for High Speed Rail continued.

Felicia Marcus’s term on the State Water Resources Control Board has expired. The Governor has several more weeks to finalize his decision. Now is the time to influence his decision to possibly someone who is not blatantly agenda driven, someone who does not have a background with an agency such as the NRDC, or someone who values people and the future of this state and country. We can no longer afford the speeches of mass confusion and explanations of extreme complexity while decisions of water management are made in an extreme nature. Mediocrity has been accepted and become the norm. It needs to change.

Wayne Western Jr.