California Latino Water Coalition Supports Senator Feinstein's Water Plan
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Senator Dianne Feinstein has been taking heat this week for her call to increase irrigation water deliveries from the Delta. Some of the criticism even came from within her own Democratic party.
On Friday the California Latino Water Coalition stepped up its support for the plan.
Senator Feinstein's proposal would give west-side farmers a 40-percent boost in their water deliveries. But opponents said the plan would endanger the West Coast Salmon Industry.
Comedian Paul Rodriguez, chairman of the Latino Water Coalition, said, "Sports fishermen I'm not making light of your situation but we are not doing sports farming here. We are not doing sports migrant farm working. It's not a sport to us. It's our life."
The California Latino Water Coalition is Latino in name only. It represents the Valley's cultural and political diversity.
Kerman grape grower Bharbur Dhaliwal said, "Whatever efforts are being made I think we would welcome them because better to fight and lose than never to fight at all."
Fresno Congressman Jim Costa added, "The passage of this amendment in the next 2-3 weeks is our best hope for this water year."
West side farmers expect to learn next week the amount of water the Bureau of Reclamation will make available. Sarah Woolf of the Westlands Water District said, "We really expect that they will announce zero allocation. There simply is not water in the reservoir to deliver to water users south of the delta."
Without the water, farmers said banks won't give out loans to buy seed or fuel, meaning workers can't be hired.
Democratic Congressman George Miller of Martinez is among those opposed to Feinstein's plan.
In response, west side farmer George Delgado said, "George Miller, I know he's got anger and hatred towards the west side and he basically wants to put all west side farmers out of business."
Senator Feinstein has said her legislation might not be necessary if administrative action can be taken to move more water to Valley farmers.
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