Extended Man-Made Drought
Most of the people of California don't realize it's the government water officials who have caused the problem.
Feb 09, 2017
Yes, this is a man-made drought and this is how it works. Over the past 25 years the state and the feds through various environmental policies have taken more and more water from farmers in the San Joaquin Valley and given it to rivers and fish without any objective proof that any of it ever did any good. They've never had to prove that any of the extra water benefited even one fish. No accountability, ever!
So, the more water the farmers lost the more they had to rely on pumping water from the underground. This has depleted the aquifers and caused the land to subside. Farmers had two choices: pump water or stop farming. Over the years, the depleted aquifers have become a crisis in need of a solution. But, they cannot be recharged without surface water that the state and feds refuse to supply.
The environmentalists and government officials, who are also in many cases from environmental organizations, have done a masterful job of blaming farmers for the situation. They say farmers use 80% of the water, they say almonds use too much water, and they say farmers are the reason people's wells are running dry.
Have to hand it to them, they have people running around blaming each other, blaming a business for leaving their sprinklers on in the daytime, or blaming the Beverly Hills homeowner for using too much water on their yards. Most of the people of California don't realize it's the government water officials who have caused the problem.
Here is a list of all the water that's been taken out of the Valley over the past 25 years through various government policies that have forced farmers to resort to underground pumping, and pretty soon with the Groundwater Sustainability Act they won't be able to pump from the underground either.
1992: Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) - dedicated about 1,400,000 acre-feet per year (enough to irrigate over 500,000 acres or serve 2,000,000 valley households) from the federal Central Valley Project to fish and wildlife purposes. Result: no improvement in fish populations
1993: The Endangered Species Act listing of the winter run Chinook salmon stripping away another 250,000 to 800,000 AF/yr. Result: no improvement in fish populations.
1994: The ESA listing of the delta smelt. Result: no improvement in fish populations.
1995: The CalFed Bay/Delta program that collectively stripped the CVP and State Water Project of another 1,100,000 AF/yr. Result: no improvement in fish populations.
Since 1995: There’s been even more regulatory actions the sum total of which have removed over 5,000,000 AF/yr. – more than the entire capacity of Lake Shasta or 10 times that of Millerton Lake.* Result: no improvement in fish populations.
Add to these the river flow hearings for more water for fish on the Stanislaus, Merced and Toulumne Rivers.
Add to that the Groundwater Sustainability Act that will further restrict farmer's ability to pump, forcing them to fallow more land.
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