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Plea for water to San Joaquin Valley gets major boost

 
Sean Hannity broadcasted live from Huron, CA this evening, raising the nation’s awareness of the tragedy unfolding in the parched fields of our fertile valley. Ground water is not sufficient for farming operations during our drought cycle. That is why there are annual surface water supplements allocated. However, tunnel-visioned environmentalists have successfully lobbied to have those allocations stopped in order to protect the Delta smelt and Chinook salmon. Each winter the pumps are turned off at the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in accordance with Endangered Species Act (ESA) provisions. Despite a three-year drought, Congress decided that the pumps should not be turned on this spring. As a result, there are miles and miles of fallow fields from Bakersfield to Sacramento. 

While unemployment in some communities is at 40 percent locally, hundreds of millions of people have not felt the full effect of this fiasco yet. Grocery prices are quickly rising across the nation, however, and fresh produce from foreign countries will be needed to supplement dwindling domestic production. With every shipment of foreign produce also comes the potential for introduction of pests for which we do not have natural predators. Therefore, California, and the rest of the nation, as well, may be facing more than just water issues down the road.
Much of the farmland on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley looks like this, instead of planted fields.
 
Local congressmen George Radanovich, Devin Nunes, and Jim Costa each spoke briefly about why we do not currently have the usual annual surface water supplement allocations. Comedian and water allocation advocate, Paul Rodriguez, also spoke passionately about the plight of farmers and farmworkers. Alan Autry, a popular actor and former Mayor of Fresno, probably summed up the dire situation best when he called federal prohibition of water shipments to the Valley “an act of domestic terrorism.”  The commericial in which he states, “If you like foreign oil, you’ll love foreign food,” was aired several times during the program.
 
The recurring theme throughout the broadcast was that the federal government has contributed to the drought and farm failures in the San Joaquin Valley, and powerful Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi, are at the forefront of the problem.
 
I must question whether environmentalists have considered whether they are pushing humans toward the benchmark for endangered species. Without water and food, we surely cannot survive.
 

Comments

  • Concerned 4 years ago

    > I must question whether environmentalists have considered whether they are pushing humans toward the benchmark for endangered species.

    Of course they have! The goal of the radical environmentalists is fewer people.

  • Ryan Schwartz 4 years ago

    State water experts counted a total of 10 incorrect statements in Hannity’s broadcast.

    Hannity made no mention of of a recent Pacific Institute report showing how simple, and cost-effective irrigation techniques could be adopted by valley farmers to save nearly 6 million acre-feet of water per year (over 18 times the amount re-routed by the NMFS order). Nor did he address the growing practice of water speculation, in which rural land owners purchase subsidized water from the federal government and sell it for profit on the open market (Sandridge Partners, a Sunnyvale real estate company, recently sold 14,000 acre-feet of water out of the valley for $77 million). Finally, Hannity failed to explain why the Westlands Water District from which he broadcast from is sitting on nearly 275,000 acre-feet of water that it is not distributing.

    Despite the drought and water restrictions, valley farms are full of bumper crops this year.

  • WKB 4 years ago

    It's situations like this that begs the question...."Does anyone really know the real/whole truth?"

  • JoAnn Estrada-Young 4 years ago

    Ryan, I want to know more. Please e-mail contact info to me.

  • Peopleareimportanttoo 4 years ago

    Concered hit the nail on the head! How can a tiny fish take precedence over human life and well-being. Endangered or not i find it hard to believe the Delta Smelt and Chinook salmon are that beneficial to take away many peoples livelihoods. Get real activitist and the govt officials who took their side! :(

  • karen dunger 4 years ago

    If the fish are so important why is the water still being sent down the same canal to L.A.? It goes to show it has nothing to do with the fish, it is politics. Or is it again an issue of who get's paid off? I am tired of corruption from the highest in our govt. to the lowest. This last election was about changing the corruption in our system, instead they are doing more of the same and even worse! We the people are tired of it. It is time to clean house!

  • edo 4 years ago

    There will be a solution to this problem - a compromise that kills neither an endangered species nor the farming industry in the valley. The answer may, however mean an end to methods of farming that nature cannot support without importing water. As our species has covered so much of the earth, we have not done so without making some mistakes - mistakes that will need to be corrected before we can sustain our existence in a stable manner.

    The endangered species act protects all of us, humans included. You can't know what will be lost when species go extinct, and neither can I. Calling all environmentalists "radical" is neither true nor productive. It only exposes your denial about what needs to be done in order to keep us from destroying not only our environment, but ourselves. If you want to join the debate then educate yourself on the issues. Name-calling is just noise.

  • AByrd 4 years ago

    85% of the water from the Sacramento and San Jauquin rivers combined, are already diverted from the SF Bay, with only 15% of those waters ever making it to actually greet the Pacific.
    It is so common these days for folks to be throwing around words like "endangered species" yet they seem to be unclear as to what that actually means. When an entire species is extinct- there are none left. When you are endangered, you are at risk of extinction. True extinction is forever. Humans are abundant and diverse at the moment, and the only real threats to humanity are our endless destruction of rivers, oceans, forests and abusing natural resources whish provide abundance on the earth. BIODIVERSITY.
    Biodiversity is the abundance of life which each of us depends on.
    Check out baynature.org or conservation.org or california native plant society for more info. (these are some groups I enjoy supporting:)

  • Win 4 years ago

    "Each winter the pumps are turned off at the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta." Our Governator should send in the CHP or National Guard and turn the pumps on again.

  • JoAnn Estrada-Young 4 years ago

    Thank you for all of the input. I will check out references you have posted. I want to be fair.

  • Concerned 4 years ago

    > The endangered species act protects all of us, humans included. No one is arguing against the endangered species act. What has people riled is that we are jeopardizing our food supply. I don't see how that protects humans. It’s a draconian act instigated by people that would be happy to see the central valley revert back to a desert it once was. I don't see how anyone who has witnessed the devastation firsthand can argue that the decision to shut off the water was anything but misguided. See for yourself.

  • concerned 2 4 years ago

    "Despite the drought and water restrictions, valley farms are full of bumper crops this year"
    Then why is the area a dust bowl and are so many people out of work???

  • Eric 4 years ago

    Has anyone attempted a solution from an Engineering prospective? I have almost no information, but if the problem is fish getting sucked through a pump, there is a way to modify that pump to prevent this from happening. The only caveat is someone has to find it. The benefits of this is clear, bypass the EPA. If the pumps aren't harmful to the fish, then there would be no reason to keep them off.
    I think this is just a case of Government run-a-muck, and it sickens me. We can engineer multi-billion dollar satellites to take pictures of Mars, but designing a fish-safe pump is out of our wheelhouse? Ask Caltech, or MacGuyver. I can think of a simple solution right now, instead of one intake valve, have the one pump take in water through multiple valve thus reducing the flowrate through each valve. Sounds good to me.

  • Eric 4 years ago

    Has anyone attempted a solution from an Engineering prospective? I have almost no information, but if the problem is fish getting sucked through a pump, there is a way to modify that pump to prevent this from happening. The only caveat is someone has to find it. The benefits of this is clear, bypass the EPA. If the pumps aren't harmful to the fish, then there would be no reason to keep them off.
    I think this is just a case of Government run-a-muck, and it sickens me. We can engineer multi-billion dollar satellites to take pictures of Mars, but designing a fish-safe pump is out of our wheelhouse? Ask Caltech, or MacGuyver. I can think of a simple solution right now, instead of one intake valve, have the one pump take in water through multiple valve thus reducing the flowrate through each valve. Sounds good to me.

  • Concerned 4 years ago

    A similar crisis occurred in New Mexico in 2003 after water from the Rio Grande River was cut-off to Albuquerque to protect the habitat for the silvery minnow—another 3" bait fish. Congress temporarily suspended portions of the Endangered Species Act and guaranteed that water would be provided to Albuquerque. People just need to stand up for sensible government.

  • JoAnn Estrada-Young 4 years ago

    There has been some effort to install a multi-valve system. I will check on that. I've only heard that it is in the works and will take considerable time because of the budget.

  • Phreade 4 years ago

    Setting aside opinions, generalities, activism and politics Mr Schwartz provided "reported" facts. Bravo. Let go of the tree (huggers) and set aside irrational opinions (I am guilty) -- then PERSONALLY check the facts, develop and informed and intelligent position, THEN act. Stop being "sheeple" (following the mass media and self-serving politicians) and take charge of your life.

    Why are thousands (millions) of folks in the valley still waiting for "someone else" to solve their problem? Trust in others and you become their servants.

    Cheers. P

  • JoAnn Estrada-Young 4 years ago

    Regarding comment by Concerned 2: According to the Farm Bureau, agriculture is suffering this year--not producing more. I have not found evidence of bumper crops. Ag income is up, however, do to lower supply and higher demand. Check out the latest annual report from the Fresno County Department of Agriculture.

  • Doug 4 years ago

    Is it possible that just a screen on the intake of the pump would solve this problem?

  • Michelle N. 4 years ago

    Anyone who thinks that the actions taken when shutting off the water here is a complete moron!!! I don't care what you claim someone got wrong or what you say, but the evidence is right here, in the valley, the new dust bowl of America!!
    Go to the grocery store--Prices on produce are ridiculous!! Why?? Because we have to import so much to keep us going! This is a problem that can't be ignored any longer.

    I agree that not all environmentalists are radicals, but those involved in this case are!! Whether or not a species of fish are in danger, this is indangering the lives of many people and I think that for both everyday citizens, politicians, and yes, even environmentalists, HUMAN lives should be at the top of our priority list!!

  • Mark 4 years ago

    Well the answer is right in front of the Governor and a report he commissioned regarding the Hetch Hetchy reservoir.

    The Department of the Interior doesn't need to give permission to send San Francisco's water to Fresno does it?

    Well if everything on that report is true, problem solved right?

    Or is this just a political tactic for the Republicans to keep the Governorship when Darryl Issa runs?

  • Jim 4 years ago

    Meanwhile, in Ohio, farmland continues to produce record crops using natural rain water. Ohio used to produce more tomatoes than any other state, until cheaper Meixcan farm labor made California the place to grow tomatoes. Ohio continued to lead in other areas, like auto manufacturing, until California people all bought Toyotas and Hundyas.

    Sorry, but no sympathy here.

    We have water. You don't. Find another industry to propel yourselves forward.

  • jeanna 4 years ago

    More people are affected by the loss of the smelt than are by the loss of water to the valley. Fishermen along the coast have been struck hard by farmers destroying an integral part of the life cycle of commercial fish. There may be a lot of unemployment in the valley, but I would have to guess that most of the unemployed are illegal immigrants, and legal residents would be the minority land owners.

  • carol 4 years ago

    please, please do some more research on this extremely complicated issue before printing anything else.

  • San Antonio 4 years ago

    In my city we have an aquifer that supplies all of our water and surrounding counties. We have water restrictions when the aquifer can't feed a spring which contains a salamander. So I have questions about this issue. First here are some facts I've learned:

    1) Sean Hannity: The valley supplies food for the nation, not just CA.

    2) Endangered Species Coalition California Bay-Delta: There is plenty of water to supply the area. OR IS THIS INFO OUTDATED? No one answers their phone so I can ask them.

    Questions:

    1) Why are we just now learning of this? Why not back in the spring when this first happened?

    2) Since the pumps are turned off every winter, if pumps are turned on now, would it help? (is there a winter growing season?)

    3) If the pumps are on in spring 2010, will it be enough to overcome the desert conditions in order to produce crops in the next season?

    I want to know more facts, not enough on the internet about it, before I call my Senators and ask others to

  • shirlene 4 years ago

    The environment is not even a science. The major is referred to as Enviromental studies. The Judge has no scientific or research experience at all, and yet these people can determine our fate and ruin our lives. We need trained scientists to evaluate this situation, not an environmental studies major. They do not take any rigorous sciences.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    i think its poo

  • Ms. Kelly 3 years ago

    Obama stops oil drilling so the Middle East gets even richer off U.S. purchases of crude oil, U.S. manufacturers burdened with over-regulation and the highest corporate tax rate in the world shut down or move overseas so China gets to sell us things we use to make for ourselves, and now agriculture, the one area where the U.S. could always count on being self-reliant, is being deliberately destroyed to force us to buy our food from third-world countries.

    Tell us again, Obama, how everyone benefits when we “spread the wealth”!! This is nothing but redistribution of wealth on a world-wide level.

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