Newsom’s drought plan doesn’t hold up

For immediate release

Sacramento, California – Today Governor Newsom is expected to issue a plan purporting to prepare California for a warmer, drier future fueled by climate change. Yet the steps described rely heavily on desalination and controversial tunnel and dam projects. The plan makes no mention of reducing the state’s most intensive water users – Big Ag and Big Oil.

Food & Water Watch research recently found that California could save up to 82 million cubic meters of water each year by switching from fossil fuels to renewables like solar and wind – that’s a reduction of 98% of the water currently needed to sustain the state’s fossil fuel. addiction. The water used for the industrial cultivation of thirsty crops like almonds and pistachios is just as raw. Between 2017 and 2021, Food & Water Watch found that almond acreage increased by 32% and pistachio acreage by 63%. This expansion required the withdrawal of an additional 523 billion gallons of water for irrigation, enough water to supply nearly four million homes with water for an entire year.

“Newsom’s drought plan to conserve water, ironically, does nothing to reduce the biggest water users who are also the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions that are fueling the crisis,” he said. declared Food & Water Watch California Organization Manager Tomás Rebecchi. “The toxic cycles of industrial agriculture and fossil fuel extraction use massive amounts of water that could otherwise be used by the public, negating any attempt at meaningful water conservation. Coupled with his energy plans that include continued reliance on fossil fuel gas power plants and its failure to clamp down on corporate water abuse, this drought plan heralds an increasingly dry and inequitable California at the mercy of fossil fuels and corporate agriculture.

Conservationists, scientists and frontline community members have long decried ocean desalination as an unnecessary waste that puts marine life at risk and threatens to extend the life of the fossil fuels needed to sustain it. feed. In May, defenders have successfully stopped plans for a Poseidon desalination plant, a client of Newsom’s top adviser, Jason Kinney, and his lobbying firm, Axiom Advisers. Newsom proposes to “streamline and speed up permits” for desalination plants.

“Frontline communities can’t afford desalination and neither can the environment,” continued Rebecchi. “And time and time again, Californians have fought against these catastrophic projects and won. It’s time Newsom treated water as a human right, not a commodity to be traded for corporate profit.


Contact: Jessica Gable, (202) 683-2478, [email protected]

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