At a Crossroads
The new yield will either be unavailable to us or too expensive for us to buy.
Aug 30, 2017
We are at crossroads again in the San Joaquin Valley. Decades ago, Valley leaders had the opportunity to build the dam on the San Joaquin River either at Temperance Flat or Millerton. Due to the conditions at the time, they opted for the cheaper option. In retrospect, it was a huge mistake. Had they chosen Temperance Flat, we would have had many thousands of acre-feet available to us over the past 60 years or so. We would be in much better shape now in that currently we are plagued with huge overdrafts of groundwater aquifers, and a state leadership dominated by environmental ideologues with no practical knowledge of farming or water. As a result, we have been subjected to a series of water bonds that have produced zero water for the Valley.
This latest bond will result in more water, but for who? If we accept the State funding, half the new yield goes to the environment. The other half of the new yield will be sold to the highest bidder.
So, where does that leave us? It is a lose-lose situation. The new yield will either be unavailable to us or too expensive for us to buy. In addition, we will not be able to access our historical water that was excess to the capacity at Millerton because now it will be stored.
The solution? The Counties leading the effort on Temperance Flat have done a masterful job of getting us this far. What needs to be done is for the Counties, cities, Valley water agencies, and other Valley interests to get together and fund this project for ourselves. Let us not have those that follow us look back at this decision, and say we really missed a great opportunity.
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