Get ready for a stream of water rate hikes that will help Sen. Feinstein’s billionaire buddies

Get ready for a stream of water rate hikes that will help Sen. Feinstein’s billionaire buddies

Dear Editor,
In regards to your stories about residents protesting water rate increases, you haven’t seen anything yet!
The California water contractors who supply water to cities are spending $250 million on their dog-and-pony show meetings around the Delta and Sacramento to satisfy governmental requirements to build a Panama-type underground canal through the Delta that will cost billions of dollars.
With the state so broke, these water contractors will be paying for a great share of it and passing the tab on to YOU! The Delta water flows down through the California Aqueduct to the Delta Mendota Canal near Los Banos, then is stored in the San Benito Reservoir in Merced County, where it is then split between the San Benito County Water District and the Santa Clara Valley Water District. It continues through to Coyote and Anderson Reservoirs that supply customers in Santa Clara County.  
Worse for all rate payers, a lot of this water will be channeled to some private entities in Kern County to fatten some billionaires’ wallets. One week before Christmas in 2010, Sen. Diane Feinstein slipped in an earmark to President Obama’s $519-billion spending bill that will help expedite the flow of water directly to her Beverly Hills billionaire buddies, Stewart and Linda Resnick, who own a controlling interest in the privately held Kern Water Bank and Westlands Water District.
The Resnicks sold “some” of their water rights last year for $78 million to other water contractors. This Kern Water Bank was originally owned by the state of California, after taxpayers invested about $78 million in it. At a secret, closed door meeting in Monterey, the state gave it to the Resnicks, who operate under Roll Global. That corporation owns companies like Paramount Farms, Pom (pomegranate products), Fiji Water, and Tele-Flora to name a few very profitable entities.   
After the state gave the Kern Water Bank to Resnicks’ corporation, the water supply doubled with a great share to them, and the fish population began collapsing. The Resnicks now refuse to honor scientists’ reports and have paid for new studies to be done by who? – the California State Fish and Game Department! Yes, it is unbelievable, but you can check the facts.
The current water wars corruption is rampant and has inspired me to write a book. It is a very complex subject that took me a year of attending meetings around the Delta and in Sacramento to connect the dots. These water contractors operate under an umbrella called Bay Area Delta Conservation Plan, which is why it is hard at first to figure out who are the good or bad guys!  
The national press is doing a poor job of covering this subject. It is up to each individual to inform yourself and keep protesting. And watch for big donations from the Resnicks and other mega-farmers like John Vidovich of Los Altos, who also sold “some” of his water rights from the Kern Water Bank for $73 million last year, to make big donations to not only Sen. Feinstein but Obama’s campaign. It’s the old reporter’s rule: Follow the money! You have to hand it to Darlin’ Diane Feinstein. It was sheer brilliance on her part to sneak this earmark in a week before Christmas when the national press was focused on the two-month tax extension bill and both Congress and the press were eager to go home for the holidays.  
If this subject really interests you, read the biography, “The King of California,” about the first big mega-farmer in Kern County, Jim Boswell, and “Cadillac Desert.” These two books will give you a solid background of the history of the water wars and how nothing ever changes. Boswell drained Tulare Lake when it was the largest body of fresh water west of the Mississippi River.
The Boswell biography will make you think you are reading today’s headlines with different names, complete with corrupt politicians and the “wink, wink” attitude toward laws by government officials.

Gene Beley,
former morgan hill resident living in Stockton

 

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