Legislation restores water rights fairness
Talk about “Big Ag”? What about checks and balances for big government? Providing fairness for all isn’t “caving to Big Agriculture,” but a Mercury News editorial declared that Assembly Bill 313, introduced by Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, is a Big Ag power grab.
Managing California’s water is critically important. AB 313 restores fairness currently lacking for water rights holders. Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) urges Gov. Jerry Brown to sign it.
The State Water Board is currently prosecutor — initiating enforcement actions against alleged violators — and judge and jury. That structure violates due process. AB 313’s solution: Neutral administrative law judges would hear water rights matters.
Yet, The Mercury News decries the bill as “lunacy.” Fairness does not equal lunacy, and BBID is not “Big Ag.” AB 313 makes sure everyone — even the little guy — gets a fair shake.
Rick Gilmore General Manager, Byron Bethany Irrigation District