Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, is holding a rally on August 20th at noon on the steps of the State Capitol to protest Phase 1 of the State Water Resources Control Board’s Bay Delta Plan The plan would require an average of 40% unimpaired flows along the Merced, Tuolumne, and Stanislaus Rivers for the protection of fish.
The proposal, if it moves forward as released, will devastate farmers in that region and set a bad precedent for Phase 2 along the Sacramento River, critics say. The water districts and state agencies have been in voluntary settlement discussions for over a year after the initial plan was released. Opponents say the process being proposed by the State Board seriously threatens the ability for those negotiations to be voluntarily settled outside of court.
California Citrus Mutual leaders appealed for federal intervention during a visit to Washington, D.C., last week. SWRCB action to take water from tributaries north of citrus production did create consternation at both congressional offices and the Department of the Interior, they say.
“In our view,” CCM Executive Vice President Casey Creamer relates, “this effort is nothing but a power grab by SWRCB that deserves the full attention of all bodies in the state. Where does it stop?”
CCM offered a few suggestions as to where federal authorities could play a positive role. “It’s remarkable that last May the state touted its exploding economy and how it was larger than all but four countries. They noted the growth in all sectors but agriculture. Connect the dots folks. More water in the past 25 years hasn’t helped the situation, but it has led to no growth in our sector!”
For more information on the rally or to RSVP, you can contact the Assemblyman’s District office at (209) 726-5465. The Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts also have additional information at www.worthyourfight.org.
Source: California Citrus Mutual