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30th December 2022
Video: How This Billionaire Couple STOLE California's Water Supply The Class Room ft. SecondThought
Water is a human right? Not in California where agriculture uses 80% of the state’s water supply, while accounting for just 2% of the state’s GDP. In a state constantly plagued by drought, how did corporate interests take over California’s water? In 1994, one secret meeting between private companies and public agencies handed the majority of the state’s water over to Big Money agricultural interests, without input from voters, taxpayers, or legislators. One billionaire couple, Lynda and Stewart Resnick, were major beneficiaries of this massive deal that resulted in water systems for normal Californians having to buy water from private companies. The water banks were originally built using hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money. The Resnicks own The Wonderful Company, which grows everything from pistachios to pomegranates to mandarin oranges and more. And, nearly half of Americans buy at least one of their products.

One politician who is particularly influenced by the Resnicks is their good friend, and Chair of the U.S. Senate Energy and Water Subcommittee, Senator Dianne Feinstein. But the Resnicks don’t just donate to politicians. They are major donors to the University of California system, buying entire departments that, in turn, produce water and agricultural studies that are financially advantageous to the Resnicks. They are large philanthropic donors, using their fortune to burnish a positive image and useful relationships.

The Resnicks think so highly of themselves that Lynda Resnick infamously said: “We’ve done more for the pistachio than anyone, ever, since it was planted in the Garden of Eden. My husband should be canonized for all the work he’s done.”