Water Hogs caught using falsely inflated claims of job loss to attack fish and eco protection
2/22/2010 L.A. Times
"People make a lot of claims, but the data you see is showing growth," said Paul Wessen, an economist with the California Employment Development Department. "We're just not seeing the job loss."...
..."We had a whole series of reports that blew things out of proportion," he said. "Not only were the numbers in the reports too high, politicians seized on them and rounded them up.
"It kind of established this perception . . . that it's catastrophic," he said....
...At the beginning of 2009, Richard Howitt, a UC Davis professor of agricultural and resource economics, predicted that water cutbacks could deal a huge blow to the state's farm belt -- a loss of as many as 80,000 jobs and up to $2.2 billion in revenue.
He based the estimates on models using early government projections of water deliveries from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
He later revised those numbers downward significantly, both in response to Michael's criticism and a bit of a bump in irrigation deliveries.
But farm advocates, he complained, kept repeating the high estimates and also wrongly blamed most of the delivery cuts on protections for migrating salmon and the delta smelt, when the drought was the bigger culprit...