Paper Water is a video about the sordid things happening in California’s water world. It is about four corners of darkness that a handful of wealthy and powerful individuals and agribusiness corporations would rather not be talked about. The subjects of this video are: Beverley Hills billionaire “farmer” Stewart Resnick, the Kern Water Bank, the Monterey Plus Amendments, and the powerful Westlands Water District. Any one of these stories is alarming.
Taken together as a whole, it is easy to see why wild California King salmon are on the edge of extinction and why California taxpayers and water rate payers in southern California are being screwed. Stewart Resnick Beverley Hills billionaire “farmer” Stewart Resnick is well known for his generous gift giving. He has given millions of dollars for hospitals, art museums, education and research that benefit many. But less well known are his donations to state and national politicians.
This segment of Paper Water documents his political donations, his connections to powerful politicians, and his need for unlimited irrigation water to keep his Paramount Farms business productive. It has Mr. Resnick who demanded that the National Academy of Science re-review the work of Federal scientists that resulted in pumping restrictions of Delta water in order to protect salmon and other species from going extinct. He did not agree with those protection plans so he pushed Senator Diane Feinstein to have the Obama administration review the validity of the plans. That cost taxpayers $750,000 only to be told that the protection plan was “scientifically justified.” Mr. Resnick is a very wealthy and powerful player in the struggle over California Water and as you will see in this video, his name keeps popping up.