Scroll down to send your emails now!
We need your emails TODAY to Senators Feinstein and Boxer
urging them to introduce a bill that protects California rivers and state water
rights, provides real and long-term relief to California communities that need
it, helps protect and restore our salmon fisheries and the ecosystems they rely
on, and builds the foundation for a water policy that encourages the social and
economic changes that will be required as global warming reduces our water
We also need your email to President Barack Obama, before he visits Fresno this Friday, urging him to support and propose federal drought relief programs that fund long term solutions to California’s water needs without sacrificing our rivers and fisheries. The President has declared that we cannot ignore climate change. Responding to the California drought in a manner that brings about long-term change in how we deal with water fits right in with that declaration.
ALSO: If you are interested in car pooling to Fresno and attending
the event to show your love for rivers (since it is Valentine's Day!), please
email us and we’ll get back to you in the next few days on details. Please scoll down to act now.
Last week, the House of Representatives approved on a
largely partisan vote, a so called “drought relief” bill that authorizes
destructive new and expanded dams on California’s rivers, removes federal
protection from the Merced Wild & Scenic River to allow for reservoir
expansion, relieves the government’s obligation to protect endangered salmon
from harm by Delta water exports, weakens state control over water rights, and
eliminates the San Joaquin River Salmon Restoration Project.
Thanks to the hundreds of FOR members who sent emails to
their Representatives in the House urging them to reject this stupendously
dangerous and destructive bill. Now the action has moved to the U.S. Senate,
where Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Barbara Boxer are drafting the
Senate version of a drought relief bill. The Senate bill will likely be
unveiled just before President Barack Obama visits Fresno on Friday, February
14 to announce the federal government’s efforts to help California during this
The Senate bill and the President’s visit to Fresno offer a
critical opportunity to help California recognize and meet the challenge of a
limited water supply that will likely dwindle as the effects of climate change
become more pronounced. But a quick and less-than-thoughtful federal drought
response could also lead to the construction or expansion of new and existing
dams that will choke our rivers and decimate fisheries, continued and expanded
public water subsidies to a handful of corporate farmers in the southern
Central Valley, little relief for communities that are actually running out of
water, and water politics-as-usual that simply ignores the climate change
elephant in the room.
Some Basic Facts About Water, Drought, And Dams In
Please advance responsible water use in California, we need real drought solutions, not river-killing dams!
Dear [Decision Maker],
Thank you for proposing to take action to help relieve California from this unprecedented drought. It is critical that federal drought response go beyond temporary relief measures by promoting policies that will help our state cope with declining water supplies caused by climate change. The federal government should promote increased agricultural and urban water use efficiency, water recycling, groundwater storage and management, polluted groundwater treatment, storm water capture and reuse, and other actions that increase water supplies without damaging the environment. Last week, Republicans in the House of Representatives passed a bill that represents perfectly what not to do in response to the drought. This dangerous bill authorizes construction of new and expanded dams that will choke our rivers, removes federal protection from the Merced Wild & Scenic River to allow for reservoir expansion, relieves the government from its obligation to protect endangered salmon and other species, limits state authority over water rights, and eliminates the San Joaquin River Salmon Restoration Program. More importantly, it ignores the basic truth of climate change in California that our existing water supplies will likely dwindle in the future and that the old paradigm of building destructive dams and diversions simply will not work.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
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