California Governor Gavin Newsom Declares a Drought Emergency

More water restrictions likely as California pledges to cut use of Colorado River supply for agriculture

By Ben Welsh

12 May 2019

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Tuesday evening declaring a drought emergency for the state, saying that the water shortage could lead to the closure of “a third of the agricultural exports of the United States.”

At the signing of the order, Newsom also pledged to cut use of the Colorado River, which supplies 80 percent of the state’s water. “When you can no longer sell goods or services, you have a huge economic impact,” said Newsom, who was visiting Los Angeles to promote the jobs plan introduced on Tuesday.

In his signing statement, Newsom announced that he would veto a bill designed to open the water supply to further exploitation by corporate agriculture.

Governor Newsom’s actions on the issue of water use are a clear demonstration of the class war being waged by the ruling class against the working class. The announcement of the drought emergency was made at a time when temperatures in the state are reaching record highs over 100 degrees.

The announcement came as the water crisis in California has already triggered a wave of social unrest. As of Wednesday morning, at least one person had been arrested in connection to the water riot in Los Angeles. Hundreds of thousands of residents have left their homes as the water is cut off. The Los Angeles Times, citing police and emergency management officials, reported Wednesday morning that there were “at least 500 people involved in a wildcat water-dispute march” through the city.

The declaration of a drought emergency came in direct response to the water shortages in the state, and is a form of class war being carried out in the face of the historic struggle of the working class over capitalism. The declaration, signed by Newsom, lays out the crisis in economic and water policy in California.

It is being carried out in the same sense as in response to the water shortages in the rest of the country and internationally. In fact, the declaration will be a model for the capitalist system in the rest of the world. The declaration will allow corporations and the banks to obtain a permanent federal license to dump water from the Colorado River into the ocean.

This is part of the wave of repressive measures being taken globally

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