David Guzzetta: California's water belongs to everyone

March 22, 2013 

California waters do not belong exclusively to agricultural interests.

We are more that 50 years away from the attitude of the former California Water Resource director, William E. Warne, that any of California's water that flowed to the sea was a "ridiculous waste."

These waters belong to everyone, not just agriculture. The allocation of waters of the Merced, Tuolumne and Stanislaus rivers need to consider the value added to all users; recreational, domestic, wildlife and agriculture.

The diversion of 35 percent of the water for and protection of wildlife and the quality of life for other users appears to be a reasonable compromise. 

Agricultural interests claim that setting aside 35 percent of the water for the protection of wildlife will result in the loss of 160 to 600 jobs. This claim needs to be compared to the potential permanent loss of wildlife resources and associated recreational opportunities; and the potential impact of these losses on the hundreds of thousands of people in the Central Valley.

DAVID GUZZETTA

Merced

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