March 12, 2016

PRESS RELEASE: Western Growers Praises Senator Feinstein for Support on Delta Pumping

IRVINE, Calif. (March 11, 2016) — Statement by Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif regarding Senator Dianne Feinstein’s call for increased pumping to capture the water from recent El Niño storms:

“We are extremely pleased that Senator Feinstein has publicly called on federal agencies to increase Delta pumping to the maximum extent allowable under existing environmental restrictions. Her statement will help raise awareness of the fact that hundreds of thousands of acre feet of water are being needlessly lost to the ocean – water that could instead be captured and stored for beneficial use south of the Delta.

Senator Feinstein astutely notes that even though more than twice as much water has flown through the Delta this year compared to the same time period last year, less water has been pumped this year. We agree with the Senator that this situation is ‘inexcusable’ and requires both immediate administrative action, as well as legislation, to allow greater levels of pumping – within the confines of the biological opinions – when storm conditions are present.

But Senator Feinstein should not be the only leader of her party to make this common sense plea. We urge Senator Boxer and Governor Brown to join Senator Feinstein in calling for the federal agencies to act now, within their discretion, to capture and store as much storm runoff as possible before it’s gone.”

To solicit further comments or schedule an interview with Tom Nassif, Western Growers President & CEO, please contact Cory Lunde at (949) 885-2264.

We encourage all Californians to visit the Western Growers water page and watch the video to learn why we are missing out on this opportunity to recover from the drought and what needs to be done to avoid 2016 being known as The Lost El Niño.