The Bee editorial on drilling completely misses the point why many farmers have had to resort to groundwater to keep farming. Surface-water deliveries have become so unreliable that there is no other choice. While The Bee mentions the drought, it’s not the main cause for these disruptions. A University of California, Davis, drought-report update, released on Sept. 1, says 77,000 acres were fallowed this year due to the drought.
It also says 293,000 acres were fallowed for other reasons, including water restrictions intended to protect endangered salmon and Delta smelt. This is all good except for the fact that for the last 20 years, fish populations have continued to decline, wasting the water intended to protect them and putting farms out of business.
That is the primary driver forcing farmers to find alternate water supplies. California is unique that we unnecessarily turn fresh water into salt water by sending it to the ocean, and then spend billions turning it back into fresh water for coastal communities.
Find better ways to help endangered fish, such as controlling predators and enhancing tidal habitat, and we might just solve two problems at once.
Dan Errotabere, Riverdale