Congressman Doug LaMalfa responded to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s proclamation extending the statewide drought emergency and request that the California Water Board pressure cities and urban water districts move to a Tier 2 drought, meaning they would mandate 10 to 20 percent reduction in water use and eliminate water usage of certain ornamental uses. In California, the environment receives roughly 50 percent of all water in the state, followed by agriculture at 40 percent and urban/ manufacturing at 10 percent.
“Limiting urban water use makes sense in this major drought, but a reduction of at most 20 percent of urban use yields only 2 percent net total, i.e. 20 percent of 10 percent,” LaMalfa said. “To date, neither the state nor federal government has announced major curtailments of the largest user of water, the ridiculous pie in the sky environmental water mandates. We are facing a major drought and everyone, the ‘environment’ included, needs to share in the pain.
“It is insane in a year even the President of the United States is warning of food shortages, that the state and federal government continue to prioritize unchecked amounts of water for fish. Restricting water for human basic needs such as food makes no sense, at a time when agriculture, which produces the food we need to survive, already has been cut an estimated 70 percent between the state and federal government. The state plan is to not deliver agriculture water in order to save deep water in the lakes for fall run salmon. California is the largest agricultural producing state in the nation, and with many crops, if we don’t grow it, American consumers won’t get it. Inflation is hitting the low-income earners the hardest, how much worse will that be when basic food commodities prices skyrocket over the next 18 months because the government chose fish over people? There is a very limited window of time to get this policy right. Right now, farmers are planting during 2022 what U.S. consumers will use in 2023. Once the planting window is over there aren’t do-overs for another year; the crop year is lost, once the water is wasted meeting unattainable temperature or salinity goals for fish, we won’t have it.
Government policy is pricing the people out of the supermarket to satisfy their environmentalist masters.”