Solano County

Brown’s water plan stirs Delta debate

By From page A12 | January 23, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Democratic Assemblyman Jim Frazier says he and Gov. Jerry Brown don’t agree on how to protect the Delta – and that the governor’s water strategy is not a sound plan for the region or California.

“While I have the utmost respect for my governor, we do not see eye to eye on how to properly protect and restore the Delta region,” Frazier said in a news release. “Gov. Brown’s water strategy does not create any new water to benefit Californians on a statewide scale, nor does it recognize or protect the needs of the people who actually live, work and play in the Delta.”

“The proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan severely threatens the Delta’s environmental health, agricultural vitality, economic sustainability and communal livelihood,” he added Wednesday after the governor’s state of the state address.

Assemblyman and Chief Republican Whip Dan Logue, who represents the 3rd Assembly District and is running against Democratic Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, to represent this region in Congress, said California potentially faces the driest winter in 500 years and water needs to be the top priority in 2014.

“Reservoirs are drying up, farmers are losing their crops and it’s just getting worse,” Logue said in a news release.

The state’s economy relies on an adequate and healthy water supply and legislators need to work with Brown to find long-term solutions for allocation and use of water throughout the state, Logue said.

Logue introduced an Assembly bill which, if passed, will place a $5.8 billion water bond on the 2014 ballot. The bill will have its first hearing in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee in March, he said.

State Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, who represents the 3rd District that includes Fairfield, Rio Vista, Suisun City, Vacaville, Dixon, Benicia and Vallejo, said she applauds the governor’s message that “California must remain on a path of fiscal discipline. She share his desire “to continue to pay down our state debt and build our state surplus,” Wolk said.

“I also share the governor’s concern regarding the drought and the importance of taking immediate steps as well as investing in long-term strategies to better manage future droughts, which may be more frequent as a result of climate change,” Wolk said in a news release.

Wolk has proposed a $5.6 billion state water bond, one that includes no money for the controversial proposal to build twin tunnels to take water exports under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The state can implement wastewater recycling, groundwater storage, regional and local water supply development, along with Delta ecosystem restoration and stronger levees to improve water delivery, she said.

Wolk also criticized House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who traveled to Bakersfield for a Wednesday press conference about a bill by three Central Valley congressmen on emergency drought legislation. She said she was disappointed to see what she described as highly partisan media events staged Boehner and other members of the House of Representatives, who she said are trying to take advantage of California’s drought to advance their agenda.

“Californians clearly do not need such intervention from Washington politicians who know very little about California water policy and the many real challenges we face with the drought,” Wolk said. “Their effort to score political points is not helpful as we Californians are working to build the bipartisan workable solutions required.

“The drought is real and serious. And it requires real and serious solutions, not an assault on our most basic environmental and water quality protection laws built over decades of hard work,” Wolk said. “If Washington wants to help, the federal government should once again invest in the vital infrastructure of our community water systems as they did in the past. We can use federal partners, not partisan stunts.”

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


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