Oakland, CA – Today California Governor Jerry Brown joined CA Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and CA Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León to unveil legislation aimed at addressing the State’s drought crisis. The following statement from Food & Water Watch California Director Adam Scow explains how the emergency drought package focuses on the wrong solutions to the state’s mounting water problems.
“Spending one billion dollars will not create new water for California. In order to address the drought crisis, Governor Brown must place real limits on the State’s most egregious water users – the agriculture and oil industries.
“Governor Brown is penalizing Californians for their water use but is giving a free pass to agriculture and oil corporations that are over-pumping and polluting our State’s dwindling groundwater supply. Agriculture uses 80 percent of California’s water while urban and residential uses account for less than 15 percent.
“It’s time to place limits on the growing almond empire in the desert-like conditions on the westside of the San Joaquin Valley. These almond operations are over-pumping vast amounts of groundwater and will mostly be exported overseas. Last year the Westlands Water District pumped over 600,000 acre feet of groundwater-more water than all of Los Angeles used that year. The Governor needs to direct the State Water Board to manage California’s groundwater as a public resource and not allow corporate interests to deplete our dwindling groundwater.
“If the Governor was serious about protecting our water he would issue a moratorium on fracking to stop the ongoing pollution of 2 million gallons per day of fresh water and stop the ongoing dumping of oil wastewater into our aquifers. California’s aquifers are crucial and must be protected in order to save and store water for the future.”
To arrange an interview with Adam Scow, contact Sandra Lupien, Food & Water Watch Western Region Communications Manager at 510-922-0705 or [email protected].