Friday, April 1, 2016
No April Fool's Day Joke: Westside Gets 5% Allocation
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced today that westside farmers will receive a minuscule 5 percent water allocation for 2016, following zero percent allocations for the previous two years. This means westside growers will continue to struggle with critical water shortages for the near future.
Water bureaucrats will undoubtedly continue blaming the drought and global warming. But those excuses are becoming even harder to believe in light of the wet conditions brought by El Nino. So what could possibly be responsible for this crisis? The Sacramento Bee offers a hint: "Federal and state officials have throttled back their water pumping from the Delta in recent weeks because of concerns over potential harm to Delta smelt and other endangered fish species."
As you probably know, in the House of Representatives we have passed four bills in the last four years to ease federal regulations that limit Delta water pumping. Every one of our bills has died in the Senate amid opposition from Senators Boxer and Feinstein. Last December, we made a last-ditch attempt to negotiate a compromise with Senator Feinstein that would allow us to capture more water during El Nino this year - and the senator walked away.
As extreme environmentalists continue to grieve over their precious little Delta smelt - which are not even being saved by these draconian water restrictions - westside farmers will be fallowing more land. Seeing as these people feed the nation, we need to keep fighting for them - no matter how long it takes - until their water supply is fully restored.