Part II - Order Does Not Address Most Egregious Corporate Water Users

By Dan Bacher | April 2, 2015 | After the Governor held his press conference, Adam Scow, Food & Water Watch California Director, rele...

By Dan Bacher | April 2, 2015 |

After the Governor held his press conference, Adam Scow, Food & Water Watch California Director, released a statement blasting Governor Jerry Brown's Executive Order for calling for mandatory water reductions while not addressing the state's "most egregious corporate water abuses" by agribusiness and oil companies.

"It is disappointing that Governor Brown’s executive order to reduce California water use does not address the state's most egregious corporate water abuses. In the midst of a severe drought, the Governor continues to allow corporate farms and oil interests to deplete and pollute our precious groundwater resources that are crucial for saving water. 

The Governor must save our groundwater from depletion by directing the State Water Board to protect groundwater as a public resource. Governor Brown should direct the Water Board to place a moratorium on the use of groundwater for irrigating crops on toxic and dry soils on the westside of the San Joaquin Valley. In the two year period covering 2014-2015, the Westlands Water District is on pace to pump over 1 million acre feet of groundwater - more water than Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco combined use in 1 year. Much of Westlands grows water-intensive almonds and pistachios, most of which are exported out of state and overseas. This is a wasteful and unreasonable water use, especially during a severe drought. 
 
Governor Brown should also stop the ongoing contamination of groundwater aquifers by toxic wastewater from oil and gas operations. It is disturbing and irresponsible that the Brown administration continues to allow oil companies to contaminate and rob Californians of these fresh water sources. Given that there is currently no safe way to dispose of toxic wastewater, the Governor should place a moratorium on fracking and other dangerous oil extraction techniques to prevent the problem from getting even bigger." 

Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of Brown’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels, said Brown’s proposed drought barriers on the Delta will  push the Delta "closer to collapse." The group said these barriers threaten salmon while the Governor refuses to put restrictions on "corporate mega-farms."
  
“Governor Brown has had two responses of opposite extremes to the drought crisis,” said RTD executive director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla. “The first response is to place the largest burden of conservation on urban water users."

"His second response is to push the Delta further toward ecological collapse by expediting the placement of a barrier system to block water flows. Those barriers will decimate fisheries and leave the people of the Delta to suffer due to drought mismanagement by state and federal agencies over the last four years," she noted.

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