Following this morning’s news that Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency in California, San Joaquin County sent out a release with statements from each member of the Board of Supervisors.
Chairman Bob Elliott:
“The effects of California’s drought will deeply impact communities throughout our County and across the State and Nation. California’s water supply has dipped so low that our drinking water is at risk, and our economy and jobs – which depend heavily on water – are in jeopardy. Our world-renowned agriculture industry could virtually dry up, and our fragile ecosystem could be threatened.”
“The Governor’s drought proclamation is long overdue because his sole focus is on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). It appears that in the Governor’s tool box, per his drought proclamation, that he has the power to suspend laws concerning environmental protection and water right. This is very troubling. Removing these protections further degrade water quality for fish and farmers in the Delta. Inaction by the Administration and previous legislatures unfortunately hampered what could have been efforts to raise the public’s awareness about innovative water usage and address water supply reliability statewide.”
“The drought underscores the critical need to sustainably create new water both locally and regionally. A sound water strategy for future generations must include conservation, groundwater recharge, recycling and reuse, desalination and an investment in a variety of water storage systems throughout California. If these strategies were set in motion when the Governor was elected into office, California might not find itself in such jeopardy during a prolonged drought.”
“Reflecting upon California’s investment in water management actions since the 1976-77 and the 1988-92 droughts, we’ve made significant progress – and – we will always be at the mercy of Mother Nature. We must continue as a State, and here in our own community, to make progress towards a comprehensive water plan that emphasizes a reliable water supply, addresses environmental challenges faced by all regions in California, and provide common-sense solutions to future droughts.
“Our community and communities across the State must rise to the challenge of getting through this drought. I will do my part, and ask that you do yours.”