President’s Message – October 2012

October already, time is flying by!  While June and July were not that hot; the same can’t be said for the second half of August and September.  The last week of September was 100 or more!  It is difficult to harvest and get water back on the crops in this heat.  On the plus side we haven’t had rainy conditions to deal with this harvest.  And on the minus side the forecast for winter rains is not good for the next two months.  Everyone needs a lot of rain to bring water storage back to normal levels.

We’ve won a major battle in our war against the High Speed Rail Project.  The Judge granted us the right to file a Preliminary Injunction against the California High Speed Rail Authority last week, which hopefully puts this project on pause until some of its harmful impacts can be addressed.  Our hearing is scheduled for November 16 –it’s sure to be a show!

We are holding a fundraiser for our lawsuit on Wednesday, October 24, at Vista Cellars in Merced beginning at 5:30pm in the evening.  Vista Cellars is a beautiful location and it will be a great time to get together with friends and learn more about what is going on and to help us in this very important fight for our valley.  All proceeds will go toward the legal funds of Madera and Merced County Farm Bureaus as we fight to preserve our way of life in the Valley.  Go to our website to buy tickets and get directions to the event.  If you can’t make the event –please feel free to donate to our worthy cause!

News from the East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition; the scheduled vote for the ground water monitoring order has been postponed until December.  Our coalition has submitted comments and have been successful in getting rid of some of the most costly rules.  Now for the bad news; because of the expected costs associated with implementing the new groundwater regulations and monitoring requirements, the ESJWQC Board of Directors approved a membership dues increase from $2 per acre enrolled to $4 per acre.  In addition, the State Water Resources Control Board required more acreage fees paid by the Coalition.  In 2012, these fees increased from 12 cents per acre to 56 per acre.  The Board uses these fees are used to pay the Board staff to implement the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program.  The ESJWQC has done a good job of holding the cost down as long as they have.  While the exact cost for implementing the new WDR won’t be known until the final language is adopted, one thing remains certain: the regulation of groundwater is coming.  It’s up to us to dictate logical sense to the State when doing so.

Something to think about: The only time you make a mistake is when you don’t learn from it.

Have a beautiful October!

See Ya!

Tom Rogers