Statement from Adam Scow, California Director, Food & Water Watch
Oakland, CA — “Governor Brown’s plan to build massive tunnels to divert the Sacramento River away from the San Francisco Bay Delta – estimated to cost as much as $67 billion – has always primarily been a scheme to send massive amounts of water to corporate agribusinesses on the west side of the Central Valley. These powerful agribusinesses, including Stewart Resnick’s Paramount Farms and growers in the Westlands Water District, have planted excessive amounts of water-thirsty almonds and pistachios, most of which are exported overseas and need massive amounts of water to succeed in the hot and dry climate of the west side.
“The Governor has slightly repackaged his euphemistically named Bay Delta Conservation Plan, because the tunnels plan will likely not meet federal water quality standards in the Bay Delta, but the fundamental problem with the project remains: it is grossly unfair for the Governor to make California taxpayers and water ratepayers subsidize a massive project that only benefits a handful of California’s most powerful agribusinesses. Forcing taxpayers to subsidize agribusiness is especially wrong now that the Governor has demanded all Californians reduce their own water use or face substantial fines. In addition, removing fresh water from the Bay Delta via tunnels will only worsen conditions for California’s threatened wild salmon.
“Instead of pushing this outdated tunnels project, the Governor should limit agricultural irrigation on the west side and stop sending enormous amounts of public water to agriculture tycoons at the expense of California taxpayers and the fragile ecosystem and fish populations supported by the San Francisco Bay Delta.”
Contact: Sandra Lupien, Western Region Communications Manager, Food & Water Watch, 510-681-3171, [email protected]