By Luis Alvarado, Executive Director of the Southern California Water Alliance.
We should begin with the simple fact that no legislation from anyone, whether Republican or Democrat, will make it rain in California.
That doesn’t mean that our leaders should neglect their duties to act. They need to find solutions to help mitigate this drought emergency and store as much water when it does rain – as opposed to letting it drain into the ocean.
This week, when Congressman David Valadao introduced legislation to help move water from Northern to Southern California, Governor Jerry Brown, Senator Dianne Feinstein and a host of other Democratic congressional members attacked the legislation as “ill-conceived, divisive, and short-sighted.” In any of the press releases and verbal attacks, there wasn’t a single suggestion on how Congressman Valadao could improve or modify his legislation.
It has been over three weeks since Governor Brown declared a drought emergency, and a week has passed since his phone conversation with President Obama to discuss the California drought.
So, what were the action points from the call? Or more pointedly, talk is cheap – what are you doing to walk the talk?
California is suffering from the worst drought in a century. These are times when we expect our elected leaders to take bold action, not placate the public with empty symbolism and platitudes.
The drought doesn’t just impact California farmers, it impacts all Californians.
There are 17 communities that are expected to run out of water within three months, San Diego residents just had their rates increased, and California’s supply of hydroelectricity is drying up.
The Independent System Operator, which runs the California energy grid, just issued a rare wintertime alert where ISO spokeswoman stated, “The situation is not getting better; it’s getting worse.” She said Californians should also turn out unneeded lights and adjust their thermostats.
While some congressional members solely seek to advocate for the districts they represent, that does not excuse our U.S. Senators or Governor Brown. They are supposed to represent all Californians, from the northern to the southern border.
Governor, you’ve declared a drought emergency, what now?
You can view the web video here:
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Luis Alvarado is the Executive Director of the Southern California Water Alliance, a Southern California organization working with municipalities, community groups, business leaders, and local residents on finding a solution to California’s current water crisis.