Part IV - Drought Rules Don't Deal With The Real Crisis: Over Promised Water

By Dan Bacher | April 2, 2015 | “Governor Brown vacillates between advocating for a good start on urban conservation and inflicting...


By Dan Bacher | April 2, 2015 |

“Governor Brown vacillates between advocating for a good start on urban conservation and inflicting destruction on the Bay-Delta estuary,” said Barrigan-Parrilla. “He refuses to deal with the real crisis: the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed has been five times over promised, with 70% of those water deliveries going to big almond growers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.  Enforcing better reporting by agricultural users is an important step, but we already know which watersheds are oversubscribed and that the only way to solve the problem is for adjudication of the Delta watershed.” 

She said the state and federal water projects’ drought contingency plan for 2015 estimates that water districts relying on Delta exports have indicated a need for health and safety-related water supplies of 510,000 acre-feet. 

The water projects have already pumped over 739,000 acre-feet in 2015, about 82 percent of which was stored as of March 21 at San Luis Reservoir, west of Los Banos. 

Barrigan-Parrilla said it is not yet known how much of these exports are for the "health and safety" purposes of Metropolitan Water District customers, who will be making sacrifices as a result of water rationing and participating heroically in personal responsibility campaigns, and how much is to satisfy industrial mega-farm demand south of the Delta. 

“There is not enough water in the watershed to satisfy the insatiable demands of big agribusiness growers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and to keep enough surface water in reserve for urban populations,” Barrigan-Parrilla added.

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