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Group Asks Feds "Where's Drought Aid for Delta Farmers?"

PHOTO: Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta aerial view. An environmental group is calling on the federal government to provide drought relief to Delta and northern California farmers and business owners, and not just those on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. Credit: Creative Commons
PHOTO: Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta aerial view. An environmental group is calling on the federal government to provide drought relief to Delta and northern California farmers and business owners, and not just those on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. Credit: Creative Commons
March 20, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – An environmental group is calling on the federal government to provide drought relief to Delta and northern California farmers and business owners, and not just those on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore The Delta, says Delta farmers are on the verge of losing farms, and salmon and other fisheries are suffering too.

"The Delta will be at zero outflow, which means we will begin to have salt water intrusion into the Delta,” she explains. “We have farmers and marinas that will be experiencing loss of fresh water that they need for their services and water levels."

Barrigan-Parrilla says it's unfair to blame the Delta smelt. She says the House Natural Resources Committee is framing the issue as a three-inch fish over people, which she says is inaccurate and harmful to solving California's challenges.

Barrigan-Parrilla says taking more water from the Delta won't solve the state's water problems. She says it's the drought, not the Delta, that's affecting the water supply this year.

"We also want to see a change in narrative with the congressional Natural Resources Committee,” she says. “It's just not the fault of the Delta smelt. The reason we are in this situation is because of growth mismanagement of our water supplies and over-subscription of our water supplies.”

The House Natural Resources Committee held a field hearing on California's water crisis in Fresno Wednesday, but the Restore the Delta group was not called to testify.




Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA