Each day thousands of farmers in California’s Central Valley depend on water to produce America’s food, but that water isn’t being delivered. Inaction from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congress and state legislators are leaving thousands unemployed, threatening national food security and further crippling the American economy by causing a man-made drought in the most fertile land in America.

California farmers are not receiving enough water to sustain their crops because lawmakers refuse to ease the application of the Endangered Species Act, creating dire economic and agricultural conditions throughout the Central Valley.

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This disaster will have a ripple effect on food prices across the broader economy and make it harder for American families to put food on the table – in the middle of the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression. Economists at U.C. Davis recently concluded that drought conditions, coupled with federal regulations restricting the flow of water, would lead to income losses of nearly $1 billion. With an economy already facing tough times, there is no reason to justify allowing costs to go up for consumers when we can prevent it with immediate action.

My time in both public service and the private sector has proven to me we can’t sit by praying for Washington D.C. or Sacramento, CA to so solve problems. When it comes to the current water crisis in California’s Central Valley, the time to talk is over. We need action. California needs water now.

Join me and sign this online petition asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring “Water Now” to California.  We need to send a message to Speaker Pelosi to put American families first and support legislation for a more flexible application of the Endangered Species Act especially during times of emergency. Speaker Pelosi has voted for a similar exemption to aid New Mexico in the past, yet she stands in the way to provide relief for the farmers and workers of her home state.

Unemployment rates in some Central Valley counties are near 20%--and the news is even worse in a few California communities, like Mendota, where the unemployment rate is near 40%.  One scholar predicts that up to 30,000 jobs will be lost in the Central Valley, all because Speaker Pelosi and many of her colleagues in Congress have decided to turn their backs on California’s farmers, families, and small businesses. 


Steve Poizner

Steve Poizner is the California Insurance Commissioner.