STOCKTON, CA- Restore the Delta (RTD), the leading opponents of Gov. Brown’s rush to build massive underground water tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom sustainable farms, salmon and other Pacific fisheries, today responded to Gov. Brown’s statement and Carly Fiorina’s comments regarding the problems with drought management, conveyance, and dams in California in their interviews with Chuck Todd of Meet the Press.
Restore the Delta’s Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla responded to the entire exchange with the following statement.
To see the Meet the Press segment, click here.
“Clearly, Carly Fiorina’s statement about the need for new conveyance and reservoirs to solve California’s water challenge, and Governor Brown’s video response to her reveal how out of touch both the Governor and Ms. Fiorina are with what California truly needs to manage increasing droughts successfully.
“Ms. Fiorina believes the big industrial agriculture trope that more reservoirs and new Delta conveyance will stop water from “being wasted” to the ocean. Never mind that science tells us that snow pack will decrease with warmer temperatures in California, thereby reducing water for storage Sierra rim dams throughout the state, or that according to the environmental impact report for the Delta tunnels, the tunnels will be dry about 52% of the time. Never mind that fisheries from Santa Barbara to Southern Washington and coastal communities, the four million people living in the five Delta counties, Delta farms, and that many more millions of residents in the Bay Area are tied to a healthy San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary. Never mind that scientists have reached consensus that the estuary needs more fresh water flows if it is going to regain its health and be sustained, not more water taken from it through the Delta tunnels as stated in the EIR for the Delta tunnels project.
“Governor Brown, on the other hand, gets it only half right when he says building a dam won’t do a thing about climate change, but, forgets to apply the same logic to the construction of the Delta tunnels. Like Ms. Fiorina, Governor Brown needs to listen to NRDC’s Dr. Christina Swanson’s statement from last week to the State Senate Oversight Committee regarding the Delta tunnels. Maybe he would learn that the Sacramento basin, the source of the water for the Delta tunnels, will be effected by climate change with regard to loss of snow pack and volatility of water supply.
“Getting water management right in a changing climate is essential for securing California’s future. The billions of dollars that Governor Brown wants to waste on the construction of the Delta tunnels should be spent on broad based water recycling, conservation, storm water capture, water technology, and groundwater recharge programs.
“It is the nature of rivers to flow to the ocean; Sacramento River flows protect the environment and economies for millions of west coast residents. The only thing being wasted is money and time by Governor Brown. He and Ms. Fiorina are too busy using the drought for political theater instead of leading the way for the types of sensible planning that will restore the largest estuary on the west coast of the Americas while securing California’s environmental and economic future.”
To see NRDC’s Dr. Christina Swanson’s testimony to the California Senate Oversight Committee on climate change and the Delta Tunnels, click here. To watch the full hearing (which we highly recommend), click here.