Viewpoint

Who are you kidding, Mr. Reaugh?

February 17, 2014 

I read Mr. Jerry Reaugh's latest "advertorial" (Voices, Feb. 16) for a water district with some some bemusement. How a small band of elitists and a grass root organization so out of touch that its own membership is in open rebellion can represent the majority of anything begs credulity. Mr. Reaugh's dismissive attack on the Quiet Title suit, which he knows full well has nothing to do with selfish unlimited pumping, is just another example of the arrogance of his organization in their race to trample on the property rights of all the residents of the basin.

As to the question of water banking conspiracies, what is PRAAGS' real position? On the one hand we have you Mr. Reaugh saying it will never happen. On the other hand we have Mr. Steve Sinton, a PRAAGS board member and adviser, speaking on behalf of PRAAGS/PWE in an open forum at the Cattleman's Association suggesting that "surplus water" could be "exported" to the Kern water bank for storage. Not only is the advisability any such action questionable, but do you not know or care that surplus water in the basin is what basin purveyors such as the city of Paso Robles depend upon to supply their citizens?

What are PRAAGS' real intentions Mr. Reaugh?

More than 200 years ago President James Madison cautioned a young American Republic, “There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.” The individuals who have joined POWR are not belligerent, Mr. Reaugh. We are principled and vigilant in the vigorous defense of private property rights for as the great American Journalist Walter Lippman observed, “Private property was the original source of freedom. It still is its main bulwark.”

We are in a serious drought, Mr. Reaugh. We should be talking conservation not legislation.

POWR was formed to protect all the residents who depend upon the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin in a responsible manner that will ensure the health of the basin for future generations, while protecting the rights of all overlying landowners -no matter how large or small their parcel.

Hopefully, in time, you will come to understand and appreciate that this includes you too, Mr. Reaugh.

We welcome you, PRAAGS and ProWaterEquity to join us.

Larry McGourty and his family dry farm walnuts and grapes on the west side of Paso Robles. A long time resident of the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin, he is a founding member of the Protect Our Water Rights group (POWR) that filed Quiet Title litigation in November. For more information, go to http://protectyourwaterrights.com.

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