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Posted by: thepinetree on 04/01/2020 04:05 PM Updated by: thepinetree on 04/01/2020 04:05 PM
Expires: 01/01/2025 12:00 AM

Senate Republican Leader Says Governor's Latest Water Restrictions Could Harm Food Supply

Sacramento, CA...Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) issued the following statement after Governor Newsom's administration released its Incidental Take Permit (ITP) which will govern water delivery within the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta for the California State Water Project (SWP). Included in the ITP are provisions which will reduce water supply for Kern County and other regions:

"As the Senate Republican Leader, I have worked alongside the Governor throughout the COVID-19 crisis to support efforts to mitigate the effects of this pandemic. However, I will not stand idly by while his actions put America's food security in jeopardy.

"The Governor has disregarded our food producers, workers and families by proposing to restrict water flows to a region which supplies one of America's most essential needs - food.

"California grows much of the nation's food and is home to the top three agricultural-producing counties. It is immoral to eliminate the water which grows the food that stocks America's pantries. During a time when Californians are reliant on state leadership to support basic needs, the Governor needs to stand up and meet this moment by investing in our nation's food security," said Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove.

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Gaslighting Republican in Bakersfield....disgusting
Posted on: 2020-04-01 17:10:14   By: Anonymous
I'm not 100% sure, but here's my take:
1. The Department of Water Resources released the ITP application on December 13. This was well before COVID19 became an emergency.
2. The ITP is a critical component of the CA Endangered Species Act. State law mandates that impacts to endangered species by human activity are eliminated or minimized, which is why DWR needs an ITP for the SWP. The State *has* to do this.
3. The State also has to plan for changing conditions, like rainfall patterns and salinity intrusion, caused an climate change.
4. The ITP specifically talks about minimum pumping required for human needs, and gives DWR adaptive management measures to balance environmental water with water for humans.
5. The ITP also takes into account water rights and the fact that available water must be delivered. The ITP allows for that, provided additional impacts to endangered species are mitigated.
6. The ITP reduces water made available in case of drought. Drought also reduces water made available because it's drought. When there is less water in the State, it turns out that less water can be made available. This is independent of the fact that state water supplies are grossly overallocated.
7. Kern County, and much of the South San Joaquin Valley, is an arid desert with almost no existing reliable sources of surface water. They are extremely sensitive to any change in SWP flows because of this.
8. SGMA is coming, meaning that the South San Joaquin will not be able to pump their diminishing ground water supplies to make up for reduced SWP flows.
9. All of which means that the time of massive orchards in one of the driest places in the world is coming to an end. The State can no longer afford to continue subsidizing big agriculture at the cost of severe ecological damage. Which sucks for the people there, but there is no real alternative.

TLDR- South San Joaquin legislator whines about water and uses COVID19 as political leverage.

[Reply ]

    Re: Gaslighting Republican in Bakersfield....disgusting
    Posted on: 2020-04-01 20:27:59   By: Anonymous
    Super good post

    [Reply ]

    Re: Gaslighting Republican in Bakersfield....disgusting
    Posted on: 2020-04-01 21:07:25   By: Anonymous
    I agree. This lays out the facts in an orderly and logical way such that anyone who takes the time to thoroughly read and evaluate them will appreciate why the State's policies are for the benefit of the majority of our citizenry and not for the few.

    [Reply ]

    Re: Gaslighting Republican in Bakersfield....disgusting
    Posted on: 2020-04-02 00:56:33   By: Anonymous
    Please explain the subsidizing part. How are the orchard owners subsidized? I know Dairies are/were subsidized because milk is a "staple" food. Lots of Dairies are gone because the subsidies have dried up

    I think this crucial time now when people are more focused on food availability and "survival" (I use that loosely) that water allocation needs to swing in the favor of the farmer/rancher. If it means loosing the delta smelt in order to keep sanity within our "salad bowl " of a region....then tough choices have to be made. If you stand on the side of "let the people perish" to the name of saltwater intrusion, etc then I don't know what to say.

    What did the water do when we had no dams, and lots of these major rivers slowed to a trickle by middle to late summer? Did we have salty shores on the Calaveras River or whatever ones have the elevation that would warrant intrusion.

    I think if anything IS given subsidies it should be agriculture. Just remember, there are a lot of small business owners who want to be big business owners and that is how some huge companies started with a small business owner. We had better support AMERICAN agriculture...because no matter how much you like your Iphone, it can't be eaten.

    [Reply ]

      Re: Gaslighting Republican in Bakersfield....disgusting
      Posted on: 2020-04-02 07:18:25   By: Anonymous
      The orchards are essentially subsidized by taking more than their share of water at old ag prices. Unlike those fields of row crops from our childhood which were planted, harvested and rested, nut orchards require water all year long. These owners got greedy when nut products were in demand to replace dairy and in China.

      [Reply ]

    Re: Gaslighting Republican in Bakersfield....disgusting
    Posted on: 2020-04-02 07:19:39   By: Anonymous
    Excellent, well-studied post. The reality is that much of the nut orchard product is shipped abroad to China and other countries, too.

    [Reply ]

Original post person, here:
Posted on: 2020-04-02 16:13:20   By: Anonymous
On the upside: orchardists are leaning how to drip and target water, rather than the semi-traditional field flooding. They’re getting with the new water rationing program much faster than the politicians that represent them. The politicians quite often seem to target their outrage at folks who don’t actually ranch or farm. Then they seem to be heroically supporting the All American Farmer myth. Farmers and ranchers in CA are smart as hell, and way more tech savvy than most folks. They pivot quickly.

[Reply ]

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