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CapeTown

Apr 01, 2018

budlite6


Look at the water saving policies where desalinization is used. Do the Israelis or Australians use open field flooding and overhead sprinklers on their farms like we do here in California? NO!


I am not against farmers; I am against them receiving free or subsidized water. They can pay the market rates just like everyone else. Food prices will reflect the true cost of ...


 


JonHat


The bizarre narrative around water savings that never includes agriculture waste needs to stop. 80\% of our water is used by agriculture AND the top crops grown are not eaten by people. Instead of taking drastic action to save one or two percent of our water there are easy steps we can take to save ten or twenty percent of our water. I thought liberals were smarter than this.


 


budlite6


Look at the water saving policies where desalinization is used. Do the Israelis or Australians use open field flooding and overhead sprinklers on their farms like we do here in California? NO!


I am not against farmers; I am against them receiving free or subsidized water. They can pay the market rates just like everyone else. Food prices will reflect the true cost of production (free market). Farmers can decide which water conservation methods make sense for their crop and climate.


Agriculture uses 80\% of the developed water (or 40\% of the total fresh water) in California, while contributing less than 3\% to our economy. Residential water usage is about 10\% of the Agricultural water usage so focusing on residential use without looking at the broader picture is idiotic. Desalinization is another option, but it is also expensive and energy intensive. Please note that San Diego is paying over $2500/acre foot of water while farmers receive water for free or heavily subsidized rates.


Much of that agricultural water is used to grow low value crops and crops for export. I have nothing against the farmers and how they run their business, but they need to pay a reasonable price for their water.


We should start moving the farmers over to a Market-based system. They can pay for the water based on quality and distance transported (by canal or pipeline) and for water removed from the aquifer. The cities can do the same. Some of the funds from the additional charges to agriculture could be used to make loans to farmers supporting water conservation methods. It makes no sense for the vast majority of taxpaying residential users to subsidize agricultural water usage, especially during a drought. Farmers need to understand the real market price of water and adjust their crop mix and watering methods to reflect the real market “input cost” of the water.


I agree that we should improve the Delta Supply and build more reservoirs (with the farmers paying their share of costs) to store more water during the wetter years/seasons.


 


FDR III


Cape Town is nothing to be proud of, it is an unmitigated disaster, the result of terrible leadership which ignored the water problem until it became a calamity. They are making do with next to nothing and the public health risk for an outbreak of disease is enormous.


 


The lesson for California is to stop letting pigs like the Resnicks and the Wonderful Co. drain the state of precious water for their selfish reasons. It takes a gallon of water to grow a single almond, but Stewart Resnick and the other billionaire growers in the Central Valley are raping California of future water needs. All so they can add even more to their fortune. Yeah, let's let the free market reign, and we can wind up like Cape Town. Great idea, eh?


 


JonHat in reply to FDR III fCape Town is nothing to be pro...more »


You are on the right track but the biggest water users are cows. Instead of asking people to stop watering their car to save 50 gallons let’s ask them to stop eating steaks to save 5000 gallons. Until then it’s all a joke.


 


budlite6 in reply to Winston Kiva fAs a reader who has followed t...more »


Residential water users consume about 10\% of the water used by Agriculture. Maybe residential users are the wrong target?


Thank God that the Rice Framers were able to get their free water. Just think about the terrible consequences if more US subsidized rice was not grown to be used as livestock feed in Japan. (Heavy sarcasm)


Yes, rice farmers in California grow a crop that is subsidized by the US taxpayer and then sold to Japan where it is used to feed livestock because California rice is considered inferior to Japanese rice. (I disagree about the quality, since I like California rice, but rest is true.)


An acre of rice (total market value ~ $4000/acre) requires six acre feet of water to grow. Our rice farmers receive the water for FREE or at highly subsidized rates. It is considered a fairly low value crop, but they still get the water for free from our rivers and aqueducts.


Think about those numbers for a minute. San Diego has signed a decades long (30 year?) contract to purchase desalinized water at between $2500 and $3000 per acre foot. That means that a rice farmer uses between $15,000 to $18,000 worth of water (at San Diego prices) to grow about $4,000 worth of rice (minus his costs). That is INSANE!

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