Man-made court-ordered California drought.
Yeah, yeah, it’s those evil, liberal courts again.
From the article:
Emotion colors the arguments of both sides. The west side is not yet a “dust bowl,” as claimed on Fox News, and San Francisco Bay and the delta will not turn stagnant, as some environmentalists fret. The majority of west-side land is still farmed, and the bay is far cleaner than it was decades ago.
The crisis is not over an entire valley, but instead a sizable part of it without regular irrigation deliveries. For those farmers and workers whose livelihoods depend on that parched acreage, the result undeniably is catastrophic.
All this should remind us that Americans have developed a bad habit of avoiding tough choices. Californians could build more dams and more canals and farm with adequate irrigation, but that would mean fewer natural flowing rivers, fewer fish and saltier deltas.
Few, though, will honestly acknowledge that “I want 10,000 acres of almonds, but I realize that will mean a slightly saltier delta and less marine life,” or, on the flip side, “I vote for more delta smelt but understand that will mean fewer tomatoes.”
God never intended SoCal to be farming country and the “ecology” there now is man-made, every bit as artificial as a space station. The same is true of many other parts of the country and we just don’t realize it because it because it is the status quo.
When drought strikes and pits state against state or region against region people go to the courts and they have to rule – leaving lots of folks PO’d no matter what they do.
I suppose we “could” get rid of all the hydro-dams and get rid of irrigation and hydro-electric power.
Well, if the courts force the farmers out of their way of making a living, maybe they should all just go to fishing for delta smelt—have tremendous fish frys and sell the little beggars at $5.00 a plate until they’re extinct. Then, of course, the problem will be solved, they can turn the water back on, and everybody will be happy.
(Except for the liberals, of course----they’re never happy.)
I did not suggest anything of the kind.
But water is a finite resource. California probably will reach a point where they have to choose between agricultural and residential use.
This whole situation strikes me as ironic. Years ago, the area in which I live had thriving farms on which were grown fruits and vegetables of various kinds. Due to the nature of the soil and the long, sunny growing season, they had a flavor that was celebrated nationwide.
It was all wiped out when the government developed all those irrigation projects in the West; basically in deserts. The quality suffered, but the production levels were high and the costs were low. Now, the agricultural endeavors here are mainly cattle and forestry.
So, in a way, one is tempted to think it a regional advantage to see those deserts return to deserts. But the greater likelihood is that the produce from those irrigated deserts will simply be replaced by produce from south of the border, (probably from irrigated deserts) and that those other parts of the U.S. that could grow fruits and vegetables well will not see their prior productivity return; particularly because the seasons in the prior productive regions do not allow for year-round production. Unless people return to, say, eating canned tomatoes in the winter instead of fresh (albeit grainy and flavorless) ones, or eating varieties of fruit that will last well into the winter if stored in a cool place, locally-produced fruits and vegetables are likely to remain sparse and seasonal.
I do find it ironic as well that many who become alarmed at salinization of deltas live in, and see no problem with, cities that eradicate deltas entirely, along with all the wildlife that was once there. Never mind all the pollution that washes off the streets and into the bays. There is something just a bit surreal in seeing people whose lives are as artificial as artifical can possibly be, get all distressed over something like the life cycle of the delta smelt.
With all the floods, you will have trouble convincing anyone that water is in short supply.
[Everything is finite. Even the Sun.]
But we have lots of fresh water.
We just refuse to develop what we already have. All that anti-dam rhetoric. For example. All those waste water treatment facilities that treat sewage and then dump the pure water into the ocean instead of reintroducing it into the human-environment. And then they complain about water tables going down
By the way, there are floods in Georgia, USA.
In addition to the floods in the Philippines.
The Israelis managed to turn desters into the citrus basket for Europe by means using irrigation with seawater. How’d they do it? De-salinization plants. They turn the seawater into fresh water for irrigation, and use the salt that’s filtered out of it for chemicals and other things.
If they can do it, why can’t we?
Oh, that’s right—if we tried it here, the enviromentalists woud be screeching that we’re “killing the oceans”. I keep forgetting that the only thing that will satisfy them is the total extinction of mankind.
Aren’t those desalinization plants nuclear? That’s a “no-no” in the U.S. You’re talking about first world stuff here. Our course is set on becoming second world.
Ridgerunner hit it on the spot. It was utterly stupid to build those irrigation projects in the first place. The only way they should have been built is if the cost of the dams and canals could be recovered by fees actually charged directly to the users.
Alas, instead the feds used general tax money so that farmers in Iowa, Wisconsin and Arkansas were required to pay tax dollars for projects that would ultimately put them out of business and not recover their construction costs in user fees.
That’s not just stupid, its GOVERNMENT stupid. And it is destroying this country.