Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Comments on tomorrow's water rally

Although I’ll be in Washington, I hope there will be a good turnout at the water rally slated for tomorrow at 6:30 pm at Tulare’s International Agri-Center. I was surprised, however, to see that the event’s sponsors include Friant Water Authority and other groups that have not supported H.R. 3964, which is the only California water bill this Congress has passed in either the House or the Senate. As the event flyer makes clear, a zero-allocation in the East Side is a major problem – so why don’t these groups back the one bill that will finally resolve the water crisis? 

Let’s take a short stroll down memory lane: here is a letter I sent to Friant farmers in 2008 casting doubt on Friant’s claim that the San Joaquin River Settlement would provide water “certainty” and end litigation by environmental activists. (Yes, Friant lawyers and lobbyists actually made that argument.) And here is a letter I sent earlier this year reminding farmers that Friant did not support the previous House-passed water bill, H.R. 1837.  

It’s possible that Friant will be persuaded at tomorrow’s rally to support the House bill or to finally reveal its own proposed solution to the water crisis – but I doubt it. (If you missed them, you can see clips of me arguing for H.R. 3964 on the House floor here.)  

We could really use allies who stand up and fight for Central Valley water rights – because we’re not only battling the left-wing politicians, and the environmentalist activists, and the lawyers, and the judges, and the bureaucrats, but the media, too. Here’s a great example: a supposed news story by the L.A. Times essentially advocating the confiscation of all our remaining water. It reads like a press release from the National Resources Defense Council.      

As shown in the past, attempts to appease these radicals don’t work – those efforts always end up with us getting less water. The only option left is to fight. And for me, the fight goes on – as it does for countless thirsty families and farmers throughout the Valley.