Water wars are a permanent part of the state’s landscape. In recent years, the wars have centered around a fake “fish versus farms” lie. The Farmer-Liars (because all they do is lie) have set this up as “minnows versus farms.”
This is because a small fish called the Delta Smelt was declared Threatened a while back. This smelt lives in the Delta of the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers in California.
There are huge pumps in the Delta that suck water out of this Delta and send it south to farms mostly on the west side of the Central Valley where really nobody should be doing irrigated farming anyway. The reason is because there is a clay layer at a shallow depth in this soil.
So water goes down maybe eight feet, hits the clay layer and cannot go any further. Because the land drains so poorly (this entire area used to be a vast wetland-swamp which was drained to grow food), the water comes back up to the surface and leaches all of the salt and minerals out of the soil. So the runoff water from the irrigation is so polluted with salt and minerals, especially selenium, that it is basically toxic and no one knows what to do with it.
For a long time it was running into a place called Kesterson Reservoir, but the selenium levels got so high there that soon there were massive bird die-offs due to the birds laying bad eggs that gave birth to deformed chicks. So you had all these birth defect baby birds running around with coming out of their beaks and whatnot.
I remember in the 1980’s hearing about this Kesterson problem. I read about it for years, but no article ever told what was causing the problem. Why wouldn’t these journalists tell me what was causing the problem? Because we have free speech (TM) in this country!That freedom of speech enabled them to write articles for years about mysterious birth defects in birds while acting like it was all some sort of miraculous bafflement. The writers knew full well what was causing it, but they never told us because their corporate masters were bought off by Agribusiness and the editors didn’t want to blow the whistle on the fellow plutocrats.
What good is freedom of speech in the US if the media will never tell you what’s really going on?
I had to do a lot of digging to finally figure out that it was poisoning drainage water from irrigated lands that was the cause of the whole mess.
I am not sure what has happened in the meantime, but the farmers apparently still have a lot of toxic runoff water on their hands. The farmers keep demanding a canal of some sort to run over to the coast or the San Fransisco Bay so they can dump their horribly polluted mess in the Bay or the Sea. Naturally the liberal Bay Area reacts with horror to such mad scientist type ideas.
But it shows you what wonderful people these poor downtrodden farmers are! So generous of them! Demanding to dump their polluted, poisonous mess in our bays and oceans! Nice guys!
At any rate, the pumps have been overpumping way too much water out of the Delta for agriculture for a very long time now. The canary in the coal mine was the Delta Smelt (and now some other species are now going extinct too).
For it is not just the Delta Smelt that is in trouble. The smelt is crashing because the entire Delta ecosystem is in danger of collapse. Who is causing the collapse? Why those hardworking, salt of the Earth, sons of the soil, poor suffering farmers, that’s who!
Thing is, it is not just a minnow versus food story. The Delta used to have a huge striped bass and salmon fishery. The salmon runs are now all threatened or endangered and some are in danger of extinction. So it’s really one industry versus another.
And it goes beyond that. The Delta is part of the Commons of California, a piece of our collective endowment. What right do these farmer-pigs have to destroy a precious part of our state?
My position is quite reasonable. No, you farmers do not have the right to destroy the ecosystem of the California Delta! We will do whatever it takes to preserve that ecosystem, even if it means limiting the water you get on land that should never have been irrigated in the first place.
I believe that is a quite reasonable position.
However, I live in Moronica, where seldom is heard an original word and the brains are all cloudy all day. No one has an original idea ever, and the masses just conform to whatever ideology they have been told to think or else just think whatever everyone else is thinking.
There are regular conversations about the water issue around here. 99% of the local morons see it as “minnows versus food.” “Give us our water!” they cry. All the other sheeple nod their empty heads. I try to explain what’s really going on, and everyone looks at me like I am a lunatic.
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