SACRAMENTO, CA – U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina today issued the following statement after the California Department of Water Resources announced that allocations to State Water Project (SWP) contractors will only be 5 percent of requested deliveries, the lowest initial allocation figure in the history of the SWP.
“Today’s announcement further underscores the urgency of our state’s water crisis. Already, nearly 40,000 of our fellow Californians are out of work in the Central Valley because of a lack of water, and job losses will increase unless the U.S. Senate acts. Despite her willingness to take action to help the people of New Mexico when they faced a similar situation in 2003, Barbara Boxer continues to prioritize a small fish ahead of the livelihood of California’s farmers and farm workers,” said Fiorina. “While the Central Valley is disproportionally impacted by this lack of water, our water crisis is having a serious impact in all corners of the state, including threatening the water supply to tens of millions of Southern Californians. Particularly during these tough economic times, California needs real leadership in the U.S. Senate to deliver much-needed water to our state’s farmlands and homes, create jobs and get our economy back on track. Barbara Boxer has repeatedly refused to take the pragmatic steps necessary to get water flowing again, and that is why it is time to replace her with a senator who will put Californians and job creation in this state first.”
In October, Fiorina wrote an op-ed for the Fresno Bee highlighting the serious water delivery issues facing California, the action the Senate could take to help alleviate the situation and Barbara Boxer’s lack of action to address this issue. Earlier this year, Fiorina visited the Central Valley to learn first-hand about the impact of California’s water crisis and called for immediate federal action to get water supplies flowing to the region.
Water Crisis Causes Job Loss
“Jobless Numbers Are Up Across The Country, But Few Places Are Seeing The Rise As Quickly As The Central Valley.” (KMPH, 3/6/09)
Central Valley’s Job Losses “Mainly Due To Our Agricultural-Based Employment.” “‘In this area, it’s mainly due to our agricultural-based employment,’ said Nannette Potter, of the Employment Development Department. The new numbers released Thursday by her department show the jobless rate in Fresno County was 15.7% in January, up from 13.3% the month before. The numbers weren’t much better in surrounding counties. Madera went up to 13.1% in January, from 11.3% percent in December. Tulare jumped from 13.8% to 16.2%; Kings County’s rate went up more than 2 percent to 15.6% and Merced had the worst figures, with a whopping 18.9%.” (KMPH, 3/6/09)
Key Stakeholders – Including A DWR Official – Predicted Heavy Job Losses From Lack Of Water In California’s Central Valley. “The state Department of Water Resources, which also ships farmers water, has promised to deliver 15 percent of the normal allocations in October, but conditions are so dire that that’s now in doubt, too. ‘The consequences are expected to be pretty horrible in terms of farmers’ revenue, but what’s really disconcerting are the possible job losses,’ said Wendy Martin, who leads the agency’s drought division. ‘Those communities that can least weather an economic downturn are going to be some of the places that are hit the hardest.’ Richard Howitt, a professor of agriculture economics at the University of California, Davis, estimates that $1.6 billion in agriculture-related wages, and as many as 60,000 jobs across the Central Valley will be lost in the coming months due to dwindling water.” (The Desert Sun, 1/26/09)
Central Valley Unemployment “Continues To Soar.” “Some say the recession is over but the unemployment rate here in the Valley continues to soar. … The newly released unemployment numbers show an even greater number of people in the Valley are now out of work.” (KSEE, 11/20/09)