AirTalk for August 15, 2014

Environmental advocates’ mixed reactions to Sacramento’s $7.5 billion water deal

Governor Brown Declares Statewide Drought Emergency

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference on January 17, 2014 in San Francisco, California.

This week, Governor Jerry Brown trumpeted a bipartisan package to deal with California's water troubles.

The deal includes funds to build new reservoirs - satisfying farmers - and money for water conservation, recycling and cleanup efforts - heralded by some environmental groups. However, a coalition of grassroots activists complain the plan does nothing for the short-term drought problem, uses dam projects to the detriment of local watersheds and irresponsibly gives away water to agriculture interests.

Although Conner Everts, Co-Facilitator of the  Environmental Water Caucus, says there are valuable projects in the deal, he would have trouble voting for it come November.

The California director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Ann Notthoff, said in a statement "California's drought brought a diverse set of interests together in support of a new bond that protects our environment and our economy, instead of one that creates a false choice between the two."

It's said politics is the art of the possible - is that the thinking behind this deal? What can help the drought in the near term?

Guest:

Conner Everts, Co-Facilitator, Environmental Water Caucus, caucus of more than 30 grassroots organizations with a common interest in CA water issues

Steve Fleischli, Director and Senior Attorney, Water Program, Natural Resources Defense Council

 


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