The Bee reports that our Valley officials will ask federal and state agencies to cut environmental water allocations. Environmental water has, for many decades, been subject to severe cutbacks to the extent that many fish populations have either disappeared or now hang precariously.
When Friant Dam was built, we didn’t have the foresight to say to our water users, “You can have 80% of the river. The rest is for the wildlife downstream and the aquifer along the way.”
Local agriculture apparently believes that if we could just get that last bit of delta water, the “Congress-created water shortage” would be over. The truth is that we irrigate too many acres and unregulated groundwater pumping continues to contribute to the unsustainability of our ag economy.
Watch what happens when the groundwater is commercially out of reach. See how many corporate food producers stick around to pick up the pieces. The rest of us will call for a government rescue. In the meantime, the majority opposes regulation of a vanishing resource.
Numerous food-growing regions around the world have succumbed to misuse. The richness of our Valley feeds the world, but on present course, it isn’t going to last.