By Rick Paulas
From KCET - Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012
Coalition response...A disconcerting element of this report is the attempt to place social values on the water used to produce meat and dairy products. Consumer choices and federal nutrition guidelines include these items and most people find them to be a valuable part of a balanced diet. It takes feed like alfalfa, hay and corn to produce meat, ice cream and cheese. Suggesting that people will "help make the world a better place" by avoiding meat or dairy products is social engineering at its worst.
Consumers also benefit economically from domestic food production by paying less at the grocery store than their counterparts in 28 other high-income countries. Americans pay just 6.2% of their disposable income on food and non-alcoholic beverages each year. Those in other high-income countries pay 10.2%, which at the same rate would cost Americans $3,820 more each year (in 2010 dollars) to feed their families ( http://www.farmwater.org/foodcoststudy.pdf).
Also absent in the study are those additional values derived from water used on California farms. Jobs are provided for millions of employees both on the farm and through marketing channels, such as trucking, processing, service and export terminal jobs, with a total economic impact of $112 billion, according to the UC Davis Ag Issues Center. Don't forget that taxes are also generated from these farms that help support local schools and other government activities.
California is the seventh largest economy in the world and any effort designed to shift water use based on economic value is misleading. After all, most Californians would agree that the availability of fresh California-grown fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products far outweigh the taste and nutrition of a "high-value" product such as a shoe or a computer. Readers of this report should realize the value they currently have from the food and fiber grown on our farms and not be fooled into comparing food with other consumer products.
From Central Valley Business Times - Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012
Coalition response...Years of study by scientists, biologists, engineers and others have gone into the efforts to establish a reliable water supply and an improved Delta ecosystem. Those efforts have come together under the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. Volumes of material is available for review at the BDCP's website - http://baydeltaconservationplan.com/Home.aspx. Various plans to achieve the goals of the BDCP have been submitted and each has been fully vetted. Some elements of these plans have been incorporated into the BDCP current proposal because the researchers have determined that value exists. Other plans have not fared as well.
The current proposal is the closest California has come to safeguarding its water future through a reliable water supply and recognizing the importance of restoring a fragile Delta ecosystem.
From Aquafornia - Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012
From Porterville Recorder - Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012
From Capital Public Radio - Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012
From The Business Journal - Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012
From ACWA - Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012