Target: California Governor Edmund “Jerry” Brown
Goal: Demand that California’s governor stop water project that is damaging to the environment and populace
California is running out of water. It is facing a drought emergency that is getting worse – the state has a greater demand for water than it can supply. It has faced its warmest winter in history, and is now in its third consecutive year of below-normal rainfall, reaching all-time lows this year. Governor Brown knows the dire situation his state is in. However, while he is asking for widespread voluntary water conservation, he is not imposing necessary conservation measures, and is supporting a water project that will exacerbate the problem.
Specifically, Governor Brown is championing a project that plans to divert water in tunnels from the Sacramento River, bypassing the Sacramento-San Joaquin Rivers Delta in order to send water south, directly to two water agencies that contract with big agriculture. The result is that agribusiness will be able to get easy access to water, while low-income people and local farmers run the risk of having to go without.
While California’s constitution says that water belongs to the people, 80% of California’s water is guzzled up by the state’s $44.7 billion agricultural industry. In addition, water is practically free for farmers because of how California water law is structured.
California’s response to its three-year drought has been to tap into its water reservoirs in order to meet demand for water. Normally, these reservoirs are refilled by rainfall and melting snow, but this has not been the case recently, and the drawdown of water in the reservoirs has caused the shortage. Instead of mandating a comprehensive water ration scheme, Governor Brown is proposing to spend billions of dollars in state money to build tunnels that will ship more water to big agriculture while depleting the ecosystem and wildlife in the already stressed Sacramento-San Joaquin Rivers Delta. Governor Brown has the power to make a change, especially in a drought emergency. Demand that he withdraw his support for the harmful tunnel project.
Dear Governor Brown,
California is in trouble; it is running out of water. The drought emergency is getting worse, as the demand for water in California is higher than the supply. After record low rainfall and the warmest winter in California’s history, something must be done.
While you requested voluntary water conservation from your constituents, this does not go far enough. You should be implementing far-reaching policies to solve this crisis, such as much-needed mandatory water ration schemes. Instead you have proposed a tunnel project to divert water in the Sacramento River from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Rivers Delta. The water will go south in multi-billion dollar tunnels to water agencies who work with big agriculture. In doing this, you seem to be playing with water in a way that threatens the Delta region, an important state ecosystem and water supply.
If you go through with this project, it will be promoting irresponsible policy that will add to California’s water shortage. It will threaten small farmers and low-income people in small communities, who are at risk of running out of a reliable water supply. It will also deplete the ecosystem in the Delta region. Please withdraw your support for this harmful project.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Eric Leslie via Flickr