It’s sad to say, but the government caused the California water shortage. A surprising revelation to those that think environmentalists are to blame. The government has been telling us for years that we needed to prepare for the drought that was coming, but given the opportunity to add needed reservoirs in anticipation of the coming water shortage, they failed to act. Unfortunately, we’re now beginning to suffer the consequences. It is well known that government policy can lack meaningful action. California was warned, and now we are in the thick of a Stage 3 and Stage 4 statewide drought.
The water holding basins that should have been completed years ago when the drought was first anticipated are nowhere to be found. The state is scrambling now to pass bills enabling facilities to catch rain water to build up reserves. Meanwhils, California legislators have been protecting a small 1” endangered fish instead of protecting the livelihood of many California farmers, who supply much of the nation’s fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Water for crops that came from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has been restricted due to court ruling in favor of saving the Delta Smelt. According to a recent article in Scientific American, just 6 of these fish are left. It is unbelievable that a fish has been deemed more important than human life and agricultural livelihood!
It was just reported that 1.4 trillion gallons of fresh water has been flushed into the San Francisco Bay since the first of the year. The underwater turbines that move precious water to farming areas cannot be activated because of their danger to the 1” fish. The farmers desperately need that water.
These turbines, which can pump thousands of gallons of fresh water into the irrigation canals, sit inactive. Funds which could have provided more holding basins have been averted to other projects. Protecting the tiny fish precludes saving our farmers’ livelihood, as the water allotments do not come, it causes wells across the state to go dry. Hundreds of acres of crops are dying, and hundreds of almond trees are being pulled out by their owners due to lack of water. Orchards have been destroyed, jobs have been lost, fruits and vegetable prices are on the rise.
Ryan Jacobsen, Executive Director of a Central Valley farm bureau said, “Water is our life – it’s our jobs – it’s our food.” Without a reliable water supply, California’s lifeblood – agriculture — will die.. This will put hundreds of farm workers (both documented and undocumented immigrants) and farm owners into the unemployment lines! The farmers are leaving thousands of acres fallow. No water, no growing. It is only reasonable to assume California unemployment number will reflect the loss of these farming jobs due to the government’s failure to act on reservoir plans.
Everywhere I go I see trucks pulling trailers loaded with lawn mowers and edgers for the purpose of mowing residential lawns and keeping landscaping neat around the state. These laborers may soon be on the list of California’s unemployed. No water, no grass and no work for them. Nurseries that provide plants and seeds for the yards and commercial landscapes will be closing. There will be no more nursery departments in Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. They won’t have to employ all the people that had taken care of those departments, so there will be a lot of layoffs.
Jerry Brown’s recent California mandate of 35% cutbacks on water usage have resulted in residents letting their lawns go brown and their trees and shrubbery die. California’s new motto concerning water is “brown is the new green”. But, it is no laughing matter when hundreds of gardeners are put out of work, nurseries are going out of business, landscapes are dying, and property values are dropping.
The farm equipment companies will be at risk of going out of business, and boat and recreational watercraft will be useless in waterways that are too shallow to navigate.
Maybe the politicians, through reservoir solutions, would better spend their efforts in increasing the economy instead of increasing their campaign coffers. Consider the real estate businesses when all the lawns are dead along with all the vegetation around your house. Home values are expected to drop due to property aesthetics being harmed by the drought. Hundreds of real estate salespersons will be out of work. More lost jobs as a result of government failing to construct more reservoirs before the emergency.
A couple weeks ago I visited Lost Lake, near Fresno, California. It isn’t really a lake — it is a wide spot on the river that comes down from Friant Dam. During my visit I observed several workers planting five or six trees about 60 yards from the river. What a slap in the face that was! At another lake in California (Lake Elsinore) many more trees are being planted. The Federal Government is planting more trees while telling us that we must let our trees die!
It’s time for the citizens of our country to do something that will truly count, and elect the people who want to make a positive difference and put human life and our economy ahead of 6 fish that are predicted not to make it to future generations. The current government wants to give you free cell phones and pay your rent, but when it comes to spending money on sorely needed reservoirs, they took a pass.
When your lawn is dead, when your pool is dry, when you can’t flush the toilet, when you receive your excessive water use bill in the mail, remember… the government caused the California drought.