Water Conflict Escalating

When Governor Newsom was elected, he reached out to agriculture to hear our concerns. He made decisive actions that reshaped the State Water Resources Control Board and appointed an agricultural liaison to ensure that ag had a voice within his Administration. He vetoed potentially damaging legislation in Senate Bill 1 and promised a new paradigm on the water in the State.

“We met with the Governor in February of 2019 and were encouraged by his attention to detail and his sincerity in how he spoke of those in agriculture and rural communities that tend to be left out of decision making in Sacramento today,”  said CCM President Casey Creamer.  “Unfortunately, all of that positive work is now being unraveled by his Administration. The Governor’s Office appears to be shifting hard to the left after Bill Lyons, the solutions-oriented former ag liaison departed.”

After the Federal Government finalized an update to the Biological Opinions, the Newsom Administration promptly filed suit. They have adopted a new Incidental Take Permit (ITP) that defies years of coordinated operations between the Fed and State. This coordinated operation is critical when you consider that 2/3<sup>rds </sup>of the storage capacity is owned by the Feds, and 2/3<sup>rds </sup>of the pumping capacity is controlled by the State. The conflict in operations will be disastrous for all water users in the State.

Recently House Republicans led by Leader McCarthy and Democratic representatives led by Senator Feinstein sent letters to the Governor. Each letter expressed concern with the direction being taken by the State and strongly encouraged better coordination to resolve the existing conflicts.

“How the Governor proceeds will be a defining point in his relationship with constituents in rural communities that he talked about with so much sincerity. There is simply no viable pathway to improve the economic conditions for these communities and agriculture while simultaneously taking away their most precious resource. We call on the Governor to become personally involved similarly to the commitment he made regarding the State Water Resources Control Board. If he does not, the consequences will solely ride on his shoulders.”

CCM has sent a letter directly to the Governor along with multiple agricultural organizations across the State. An Action Alert was sent out earlier today for our members to do the same.

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