The PJ Tatler

Pelosi: California Drought Not Necessarily Climate Change But 'Cyclical' Lack of Rain

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) did not link California’s drought to climate change when pressed on the issue at her weekly press conference today.

Gov. Jerry Brown, who has mandated curbs on water use to ration the dwindling resource, said this week: “The metaphor is spaceship Earth. In a spaceship you reuse everything. Well, we’re in space and we have to find a way to reuse, and with enough science and enough funding we’ll get it done.”

Pelosi said she thinks “there certainly is a relationship between climate and weather conditions — climate conditions in the world.”

“However, the reason we have a drought in California is because we don’t have enough rainfall and that’s a cyclical phenomenon,” she said. “Our reservoirs, our best reservoirs are snow pack. So we don’t have snow in the winter. We don’t have water for the rest of the year, no matter how much we — my husband told me it was raining in San Francisco when he left there yesterday. It was the best news of all.”

“…But I think conservation, as the governor has called for, is really a very important tool for us to use.”

But dams and other projects to increase water storage and delivery to parts of the state that need the water most must “be subjected to an environment — what does it really add and what does it subtract.”

“So it’s not a question of dams or not, it’s a question of we need more rain, we need more snow, we need to conserve more and we have to subject every option of storage, conservation as I said, desalinization,” Pelosi continued.

“And storage in many versions. Storage aquifers, all of that, at our disposal. But it is — it is drastic. And I don’t know if people are watering at night so nobody sees them watering or that they use less water or whatever it is. I know some people are painting their lawns green.”

Pelosi added that “the story of the West and fought wars over water is the story of the West.”

“The whole issue of how much water farmers use, how much does it take to grow — to eat a hamburger or to eat a cup of almonds or to have alfalfa in your sandwich or rice on your plate, all these discussions because many of what I — things that I just mentioned, require a great deal of water. So we have to — some choices to make. We should make them scientifically as to what really works and gets the job done.”