Response to Governor Brown’s State of the State Address

We are encouraged by Governor Jerry Brown’s comments in his State of the State address recognizing the need for increased water storage in California. Coupled with his recognition that all avenues for water management must be explored, it appears a water plan benefitting all water users may be on the horizon. It’s true: pitting farmers against fish gains no ground for either. The best way to ensure this does not continue in the future is to base environmental decisions–especially those in the Delta– on science, not unsubstantiated fear.

Better science is needed for a healthy Delta

In just the last two weeks another 83,000 acre-feet of water that could have been stored for use later in the year instead went to the ocean. For 25 years regulators have diverted water away from farms for the purpose of helping threatened and endangered salmon and Delta smelt but those and other fish continue to struggle. It is long past time to revisit the decisions that have led to these failed ecosystem policies. Governor Brown is in a position to urge federal fishery managers to do a better, more comprehensive assessment of the real problems plaguing the Delta. Only then will California begin to recover and meet the co-equal goals of a more reliable water supply and improved ecosystem.

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