My Mother Lode On Thursday, Mother Lode lawmaker Senator Andreas Borgeas criticized the latest move under Governor Gavin Newsom’s Administration by Department of Water Resources (DWR) regulators to divert water away the State Water Project (SWP) for species protection.
It involves DWR’s obtainment on Tuesday of an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) from the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) that will govern water delivery within the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta “to minimize, avoid and fully mitigate impacts to threatened or endangered species as a result of SWP operations.”
‘Inconsistency in State Priorities’ Borgeas Says
Borgeas calls the action part of an emerging inconsistency in state priorities, especially during the current COVID-19 emergency. “It’s difficult to imagine how we can simultaneously decrease water allocations, in the midst of a pandemic, when food supply and security are among our paramount concerns, he states.
“Farmers and workers are stepping up to meet the high food demands across our state and nation. We cannot expect food producers, particularly in the Central Valley, to keep growing our nation’s food without the necessary water resources. We should be increasing water allocations, not taking water away from those who need it.”
Ag Advocate Echoes Concern
Kristi Diener, founder of the California Water for Food and People Movement, echoed Borgeas’ views. In a Facebook post, she wrote, “The state pumps are operating at a trickle, or 5% of capacity today. In other words, they have been ratcheted back by 95%.
“Water is pouring out of the Sierra,” Diener continued, “but we are not allowed to take advantage because of environmental restrictions for things like fish migration.”