Since becoming a state, California’s state water code clearly directed how our state’s water was to be prioritized and delivered — people first. This statute, combined with brilliant water infrastructure systems and unique Californian innovation, insured that water supplies were ample and reliable for over a hundred years. But today, politicians, bureaucrats, special interests, and the courts have ignored and overturned the water code, eliminating the certainty and reliability of fresh water supplies to people, farms, and the environment.
Since 1990, special interest groups, the Legislature and the courts have skirted California Water Code §106, making other beneficial uses of water more important than the sections named priorities of water for people and food production. Changing that balance was a mistake.
Now in the fourth year of a drought, without enough water to go around, politicians, bureaucrats, and the courts are picking winners and losers when in comes to who gets water. Everybody is suffering: government-mandated statewide urban and farm water cutbacks have left thousands of people without water; 600,000 acres of family farms abandoned; increased water rates and fines; increased cost of food and energy; thousands of jobs lost; and even protected wildlife refuges have gone dry, further endangering protected plants and animals.
Politicians, bureaucrats, and the courts have left the people with no other choice. We must restore order and balance to our water supply by moving the water code to the Constitution to protect all Californians when drought threatens. Our action will again make California the global leader in water management and environmental protection.
Until common sense returns to California, we the people must make our wishes clear — when it comes to water, people first.