Fred Allebach to Supervisors: “I encourage you to not approve the Dry Creek winery expansion ….”

I encourage you to not approve the Dry Creek winery expansion for the following reasons:

-the whole county is keyed up to conserve water during a 500 year drought and to permit a 25,000 case winery sends the wrong message to a citizenry hoping their efforts will count; more and more wineries mean citizens are effectively subsidizing wine expansion by their conservation measures; many hope to be saving water to benefit stream ecosystems and higher groundwater levels

-no new large wineries should be allowed until Groundwater Sustainability Agencies have been formed and Groundwater Sustainability Plans made in the 3 basins covered by SGMA in Sonoma County, otherwise ramped up groundwater use can only be seen as an act of bad faith to make a run on common pool resources before they will get regulated because of current unsustainable use and unsafe yield; this is to say business as usual does not cut the cake when we have SGMA on the horizon

-we already have tons of wine, vineyards, event centers; it’s not like the county doesn’t already have plenty and that this sector is not already healthy and bringing in lots of dough; at a time when the sustainability paradigm is gaining more and more currency, hewing to a growth model does not fit the necessity of living within our means water-wise, i.e. that we identify and stay at a carrying capacity level with our water

-ask your own experts their unvarnished opinion about what is sustainable for vineyard expansion/ groundwater conservation: Jay Jasperse, Bill Keene, Karen Gaffney, Pete Parkinson,Tim Parker, Marcus Trotta; these people have the technical and scientific knowledge but not the power to make policy

-GHG footprint-wise; until the county itself has a triple bottom line indicator-based model that shows the true cost of transportation GHG in the tourism-hospitality-wine sector, you can’t simply allow more and more while at the same time try to convince the public that the Climate Action 2020 program and other similar county efforts are at all meaningful;

-sustainability demands external governance over individual actions or we only recap the same tragedy of the commons that led to the Santa Rosa Plain, Petaluma Basin and Sonoma Valley Basin being listed on SGMA in the first place

I encourage you to vote NO on this Dry Creek winery and any others that come to you for similar hearings.

Sincerely, Fred Allebach

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *