In light of Department of Water Resources recent change in water basin from medium to high concern, protecting watershed is more important than ever. Since irrigation of vines began in 1970’s (dry farming was method prior), tonnage per acre have almost DOUBLED, you’d think the wine industry would want to protect water for protfit.
Measure C: Preserve Napa Valley oaks, protect our water
By Mike Hackett and Jim Wilson
May 22, 2018 Updated: May 23, 2018 8:48am
Napa County is facing a heated election over a grassroots citizen’s initiative.Measure C, the Watershed and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative, would protect long-term water supplies for agriculture, including vineyards, as well as for residents, by capping the number of oak trees that can be removed without a permit from the county’s agricultural watershed zone. Ensuring a stable water supply benefits the wine industry directly, which is why some of the region’s most prominent winemakers enthusiastically support Measure C.
Water is a finite resource, and there is no life — or wine — without it. Napa County is on the brink of a water crisis, whether Measure C’s opponents are willing to admit it or not.
On May 18, the California Department of Water Resources released its draft prioritization of groundwater basins in need of oversight, and the Napa River basin was identified as a high priority. This analysis comes after Napa County provided misleading information to regulators that overstated the stability of local groundwater supplies by cherry-picking data. State regulators didn’t buy it.
Measure C will have chilling effect on Napa Valley agriculture
By Jeri Hansen-Gill and Dave Whitmer
May 22, 2018 Updated: May 23, 2018 8:44am
There is growing debate in Napa over vineyard development, centered around an upcoming ballot initiative in which voters will decide whether to limit further vineyard plantings in the agricultural watershed.
Measure C, the Napa County Watershed and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative on the June ballot in Napa County, is deeply flawed, confusing and an anti-agricultural land-use measure. The initiative goes too far in an attempt to curtail future agricultural operations.
The measure is presented to voters under a draconian scenario that suggests our oak woodlands and watersheds are imperiled and in need of imminent and immediate protection — yet the authors haven’t provided any scientific evidence or research to validate the need for such protection.
They also won’t tell you about Measure C’s provision allowing 795 acres of oak woodlands to be removed, nor about the rigorous environmental regulations already in place to protect our streams and woodland areas — protections previously called for by voters under Measure J, a 2012 initiative that put county land-use decisions into the hands of voters.
Measure C will also amend provisions of Measure J, creating inconsistency in the Napa County General Plan. That will undermine these long-range planning documents and create mass confusion for those dealing with conflicting and overlapping land-use regulations.
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