Once again the Valley's Republicans are using the current drought to roll back environmental protections to obtain water that is not there so west-side farmers can sell their portion to Southern California at a profit.
The much-maligned delta smelt is again the whipping boy. The small smelt is like the canary in the mine. If enough fresh water is pumped out of the delta, the salt water bays of San Pablo and San Francisco are held back from flooding the delta in a precarious balancing act.
Right now there is just enough fresh water in the delta to keep the salt water from flowing in. If more fresh water is pumped out, the salt water will flow in, the delta ecosystem will be ruined by salt water and cannot be used by farmers.
The Valley has one of the largest inland storage lakes in the world. It is Tulare Lake; all it would take to fill it up would be a few rainy years and diverting the Kings and Kern rivers to their natural flow. Tell that to farmers now exploiting the rich soils of the former lake.
Frank T. Ward