Voters Agenda: Candidates evade thorny water issues

As this election season dribbles down to its final days, it might seem like water torture for many voters – drip, drip, drip.

Yet the real torture is waiting for leading candidates to offer honest and detailed positions on a crucial resource of California – the water we drink and dedicate to farming, industry and fisheries.

Gubernatorial candidates Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman have offered policy platforms on water, but they both dodge some key issues. Whitman supports the $11 billion water bond that the governor removed from the November ballot. Brown has been more circumspect. Whitman has pandered to growers in the San Joaquin Valley by saying she’d favor farms over fish. Brown has criticized her for such pandering, but hasn’t detailed how he’d resolve disputes over imperiled Delta smelt and salmon and the big Delta pumps that suck water (and fish) to farms and cities to the south.

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