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Begging the Board!

The board listened, but never heard. They will not listen when you say it again.

Jul 26, 2018

Legislators in the Modesto/Merced area have asked the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to extend the comment period for their plan to increase fish flows on the Stanislaus, Toulumne and Merced rivers.  In the article below from the Turlock Journal, they say the board's plan ignores stakeholders concerns and dismisses expert scientific testimony.  They're right, of course, and we don't want to dissuade anyone from writing to or going to the board to express their displeasure with the decision, but....it won't do any good.  
 
The article goes on to say, “Last year the State Water Board’s regional public hearings saw thousands of Central Valley residents and other stakeholder show up to voice their concerns with the plan because of the estimated damage to agriculture, the economy, groundwater and the quality of life.”  That's right.  They heard it all already and still made their decision.  
 
The local water districts put together a study that found "that the state’s plan would lead to $1.6 billion in economic output loss, $167 million in farm-gate revenue loss, $330 million in labor income loss and the loss of nearly 7,000 jobs."  That's right.  They heard it all already and still made their decision.  
 
The board has already denied a previous request for extension of the comment period, and "in their denial letter, the State Water Board stated that since the proposed final plan amendments do not contain significantly new information from plan proposals released prior, a second recirculation of the document is not required."  The board is right on this one.  Every conceivable study has already been done.  The board listened, but never heard.  They will not listen when you say it again.  
 
As the Modesto Bee reported in March, "Thousands of people lined up in December 2016 to confront the water board, offering economic studies and the state’s own data to show the devastation the loss of that much water will cause. In response, the water board didn’t change its plans – only its timing."  Like we say, they've heard it all before.
 
We applaud the fighting spirit of the people of the area.  They have done an admirable job in presenting their case, and we think the board should have listened.  but they don't.  They have their agenda and you will not change their minds with all the science and economic studies in the world.  You won't ever get their attention until the people of this state send a different kind of representative to Sacramento, and a different kind of leadership in the governor.  And if today's governor's race poll by the PPIC where Gavin Newsom leads John Cox 55%-31% is any indication the people of California aren't about to do that.
 

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