Prioritizing Cheap Water over Education

The folks in Fresno are concerned about the water bond. Very concerned. They need to get it passed so that they can reap the massive windfall they’ll get in undervalued water. So, today the Fresno Bee news blog is working on pegging down the candidates for governor.

Of course, this being the Fresno Bee, they are looking first to the two moneyed Republican competitors. First, they got Whitman on record on Thursday supporting the bond.  Today, they question Poizner’s fealty to the farmers. He might be a closet fan of the evil fisherman!

Gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner said more water storage is critical for California’s long-term economic future. But as he campaigned today in Fresno, Poizner remained noncommittal about an $11 billion water bond measure on the ballot for next November. (Fresno Bee)

Of course, the article divides support of new dams into questions of whether you want to “help farmers” or not. When, for Republicans anyway, the real question is do you believe the taxpayers should be paying for this water project. As it is currently outlined, the water plan will vastly increase the percentage of costs paid from the general fund, from around 3-5% to 20-40%.  

If we are going to ignore other infrastructure, and slash education funding, I think whether farmers should be getting subsidized water is an important question for the state.  As it stands right now, this water bond puts the Westlands farmers, and their Sean Hannity temper tantrums above higher education and in-home support services.

4 thoughts on “Prioritizing Cheap Water over Education”

  1. It might be a good time to watch Chinatown for a quick reminder of the intersection of political power and monied interests.  Why is it that corporate welfare is looked upon as such a virtue while the cost is something that we are expected to choke down like strong medicine that will somehow benefit us working folks?

  2. Note that we also asked Jerry Brown’s campaign, which said he remains undecided on the bond. Ej

    There is also a split among Democrats. Although legislative leaders voted for the bond, it was opposed by some environmental groups and will likely face criticism from some unions who fear the borrowing could take money from other programs.

    Democrat Jerry Brown, who is expected to run for governor, has not yet taken a position on the measure, said spokesman Steven Glazer.

    Your readers also might be interested in today’s look at Temperance Flat dam:

  3. Recycled water. I wonder if recycled water plants would be cheaper solution than this bloated water bond. Orange County does recycled water and maybe that is one rare good thing that can be done in the rest of the state.  

  4. There are ways that we can go after improving the water situation that were not part of the current legislation.  First and foremost, we need to put increasing pressure on all of our Congressional Delegation, both houses, to drop cotton from the list of commodities that have Federal Subsidies.  At present, all of the cotton grown in California has a Federal crop subsidy on top of growing with subsidized water. This creation of millionaire’s on the public dole has to stop.

    A second would be to ensure that all water received at AG rates is actually used for Agriculture. Presently, rich entrepreneurs like Stewart Resnick grab AG water at Ag rates, but rather than use it on his 150,000 acres of orchards, Resnick stores it in an underground aqufer and then re-sells it later at a hefty profit.

    Thanks to Lloyd G. Carter, I found this investigative piece at Alternet: How Limousine Liberals, Water Oligarchs and Even Sean Hannity Are Hijacking Our Water Supply.

    Read that story and then go help sink the unneeded bond issue.  Then challenge every legislative candidate to stop the Resnick’s from profiting on our water.

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