How radical environmentalists are DESTROYING California

In California, the water problem is a perfect storm where environmental, infrastructure, social, and political factors make California’s water system fairly complex and now, very much in trouble.

So, where does the problem begin? More than 80 percent of the available water supply is already being used by farms, homes, businesses, and energy producers. It’s clear that even without drought, the state would be in trouble. “A complicated web of dams, aqueducts, and pipelines moves water across the state, drawing from 157 million acres of land spanning eight states. More than 400 local, state, and federal agencies manage water for the state’s food, energy, and municipalities, with each drawing from different sources. Farmers, in particular, have also tapped groundwater to compensate for surface water deficits.”

The bottom line is, due to the tight supply, any shift in the weather such as a drought for example, would automatically render the water supply inadequate. In addition, California is only one of seven states—as well as Mexico—that depends on the Colorado River Basin for water supplies. How much water California will receive from the Colorado River Basin depends upon a number of treaties, legislative acts and formal as well as informal agreements. The end result of these legalities will determine how much each of the seven states including California will receive of this water.

As the New York Times writes, “an estimated 38.8 million people live in California today, more than double the 15.7 million people who lived here in 1960, and the state’s labor force exploded to 18.9 million in 2013 from 6.4 million people in 1960.” So what we are looking at is more than double the population in 55 years and triple the labor force in the same amount of time.

Lifestyle is also a consideration in California, a place where the standard of living has always been valued from the days of the Gold Rush and great migration. Places like Palm Springs, in the middle of the desert, have a daily per capita water use of 201 gallons — more than double the state average. In this area you’ll notice fountains and the lush greenery. In contrast, in the heart of the agricultural Central Valley, unemployment is high and many people are left to travel 60 to 100 miles in search of employment.

One problem could be development. However, 80 percent of all surface water consumed is set aside for the agricultural sector. And agriculture is very important to this state. Millions of pounds of crops such as citrus fruits, tomatoes and almonds — all of which require a great deal of water — remain important to the California economy. Excess pumping by farmers, eager to save their crops and farms have caused a drop in the water tables of sometimes up to 50 feet or more causing the land surface to sink as much as a foot a year in spots and causing roads to buckle and bridges to crack. Shallow wells have run dry, depriving several poor communities of water.

Once aquifers are depleted, the state will have no backup supplies to surface water. Desalination could make up some of the difference, but can be expensive and is energy-intensive. Millions of people rely on water pumped from aquifers as their primary water source. This is known as groundwater, while the stuff that flows in the reservoirs, rivers and streams are called “ surface water”. The problem comes from the drought which depletes the supply of “surface” water making the pumping of “groundwater” necessary for crops and such. Then….. after pumping at a frenetic pace, the groundwater is depleted quickly because it does not have enough time to naturally re-fill itself.

So how does this become a political issue? Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said Monday that California’s water crisis is the result of “liberal environmentalists” who are “willing to sacrifice other people’s lives and livelihoods at the altar of their ideology.”

“With different policies over the last 20 years, all of this could be avoided,” Fiorina said on Glenn Beck’s radio program. “Despite the fact that California has suffered from droughts for millennia, liberal environmentalists have prevented the building of a single new reservoir or a single new water conveyance system over decades during a period in which California’s population has doubled.”

Can this be true? Well, yes, because although at least one community in California recorded 8 inches of rain this past season, while 85 percent of water that falls in Southern California is wasted. This is one example of an argument between the environmentalists and the farmers:

> During that first year of drought, quarrels over water were mostly confined to farmers and environmentalists. Confident that stored surface water in mountain reservoirs would remain plentiful, the environmentalists felt that the state continue to divert reservoir water away from agricultural usage—at roughly the same rate as during pre-drought years—in order to replenish rivers. In practical terms, however, the diversions meant that substantial amounts of stored snowmelt were released from mountain dams and allowed to flow freely to the Pacific Ocean. Farmers called that wasted water; environmentalists called it a return to a “natural, preindustrial California.”

> San Francisco Bay environmentalists believed that vastly increased freshwater inflows would help oxygenate the San Francisco Delta, thereby enabling the survival of the Delta smelt, a three-inch baitfish, while ensuring that salmon could be reintroduced into the San Joaquin River. So why is this little fish symbolic of the problem?

As The Spectator writes, “In 2007, U.S. district judge Oliver Wanger ruled that the pumping that annually sent about 6 million acre-feet of water to Kern County and beyond was threatening the delta smelt’s existence by disrupting water flows for the fall spawning season. Citing the protections accorded by the Endangered Species Act, he ordered pumping for agricultural uses curtailed by one-third until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could evaluate the situation. After studying the issue for more than a year, the USFWS determined last December that pumping by the SWP and CVP “was likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the delta smelt and adversely modify its critical habitat.” The agency issued plans to keep Judge Wanger’s restrictions in place. According to Tulare County supervisor Allen Ishida, “California was forced to let 660,000 acre-feet of its freshwater supplies run out to the ocean. That was enough water to supply the entire Silicon Valley for two years.”

Farmers lost in the early battles, while the population of California is losing today. The environmentalists, however, won, especially if they don’t live in California. This is because the water is reintroduced to its natural habitat and the little smelt can survive on. And this is just a small portion of the problem.

Ms. Fiorina was correct in her assessment.

71 COMMENTS

  1. It’s always easier to blame,the enviro guys,I have a terrible problem w that. Growing Almonds and Kiwi,it’s greed,pumping down 600 FT to suck the land dry. Factory farming another bad idea for us,water and land.When there’s a good earthquake what is going to happen to this dust bowl you created,by not resting land,over production.
    It’ll all go into ocean.

    • And what would be the downside of creating more surface storage reservoirs. Could the additional storage make growing food for people and protecting the salmon and smelt both possible. And also potentially allow the aquifers to slowly replenish?

      • Brown has just set aside money for more and a huge one opened in SoCal in the last decade. There are plenty of reservoirs but the lack of snowpack in the Sierra Nevada is the culprit and out-of-staters and even some ignorant Californians don’t seem to get it or want to get it. Why the Wests are interested in something they don’t know anything about is beyond me.

    • All part of my evil master plan; when it all sinks into the Pacific, the worthless desert property I bought will be worth billions!

      • you will find that most here… are fools,,,
        they fawn all over little west and all his phobias..
        true christian conservatives,, one and all…

    • The land is being rested. That’s what the farmers are complaining about. The Central Valley is the greatest agricultural valley in the world but when an historic drought comes they take a hit, too. The question now is whether water-intensive crops like almonds, alfalfa and rice should continue to be grown.. Almonds and rice bring enormous amounts of money into the state.

      • So would you say the greed of Corporate America is ruining your country? I have nothing against making money but sometimes success is knowing when to back off. Wealth of a country is just not in monitory value but the health of the country. What crops are indigenous to California that’s the in the health. That’s my thought
        Sustainability & that’s not from AGENDA 21 either.

  2. Environmentalists have been some of the most dishonest people in their misguided attempts to “save the planet”. Our earth is much more resilient than they would have you believe. Environmentalists see humans as a “pestilence”. They would like to see the human population reduced (by any means necessary) by around 90%. The survivors would be walled-off in soviet-style high-rise apartments, riding bicycles, taking trains and buses while the wilderness areas would be available only to the “anointed” environmentalists.
    I, for one, have no use for these limp-wristed, birkenstock-wearing, prius-driving, tofu-eating poor excuses for human beings. I would suggest that environmentalists take their own advice and eliminate themselves first.
    Environmentalists are like watermelons–green on the outside and red (communist) on the inside. It’s always been about control.
    I CHEER when I hear a of a “greenpeace” ship getting blown out of the water. . .

      • …your name-calling proves my point. Since you are unable to refute anything I have stated with logic, you resort to name-calling.
        It would appear that you are still living in your mom’s basement, unsure of your sexual identity, so you feel the need to lash out against those who THINK…
        You must be one of those birkenstock-wearing, prius-driving, tofu-eating, limp-wristed poor excuses for a human being…

  3. Global warming (aka “climate change”) has been shown to be a fraud (climate is always changing) and has attracted the snake charmers (al gore) and hustlers out of the woodwork. The so-called “hockey stick” model has been shown to be fraudulent. The attempts to foist “carbon credits” and other scams on the public was unsuccessful. Once again FOLLOW THE MONEY.
    Fraud in science is not only limited to those who are providing the funding. There was a case in the Pacific northwest where so-called scientists “planted” lynx fur in certain forests to make them “off-limits” to logging. Fortunately, these government Fish and Wildlife Service scientists were caught. Of course, they received NO punishment for their behavior. The so-called “endangered species act” is actually more detrimental to humanity . . . species are always changing . . .

  4. The environmentalists are also the foremost opponents to “green” energy programs, too. You can’t build a solar plant in the desert, because it might harm the fragile ecosystem. You can’t build a wind farm because birds might get hit by the turbine blades. You can’t build a geothermal plant because it might trigger earthquakes and alter the water table. You can’t build a hydro plant because that requires flooding a mountain valley, which destroys a natural habitat. You can’t harness offshore waves because that could interfere with the marine habitat. Environmentalists, who claim to want to help save the planet, obstruct every single proposal that could actually reduce fossil fuel use.

  5. If we are lucky half the population of California will dry up and go away. This might save the rest of the population. If all the illegals went back home how much resources would the state have then. You created your own problem don’t make it ours.

    • We’re not making it yours. We always pay much more to the Feds than we get back. Perhaps we’re caarrying yours.

    • Gary perhaps the solution would be for Californians to immigrate to Mexico. There is lots of room in Mexico and with their superior knowledge and experience they would be a tremendous asset to Mexico.

    • Not only are you insulting, you are showing your liberal bias and lack of fundamental knowledge. California has ALWAYS had water issues…going back hundreds of years. It has always had water shortage, but it was manageable by the fact that the HUMAN population was kept down, partly because California is mostly a desert. With the influx of human, along with a huge increase of agricultural growth (some would be right to say an overgrowth of agriculture) is the main reason California is in such dire straits. Get rid of 75% of the population of California, along with 50% of its agriculture, and the rainfall would be more than enough to support the population, and may I dare say repair the damage human stupidity has caused.

  6. There is a study that show the amount of water stolen to water illegal marijuana grow operations is fairly significant also. Building on a high desert is not exaclty a smart thing.

      • LA is built in a desert. I thought everyone knew that and it’s the reason the water must be piped in.

      • There is low desert, high desert and coastal desert. He said high desert, which indicates that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. LA gets on average 14 inches of rain a year and lots of snow in its mountains. San Diego about 10 with little snow. The main problem is the lack of snowfall in the Sierra Nevada the last 4 years. But I thought everyone knew that.

      • That geographical area for the most part is considered a high desert plain. That means it doesn’t receive an over adundent amount of rain. The fact that the majority of California is that way means that they will always be a limited amount of available rain. Eventually to many people use to much water. Just imagine what that place would look like if the evironmental extremists were able to take out all the damns and levies they want removed. On the other hand of stupidity a bait fish has plenty of water that could be used to grow more food than the smelt ever brought upstream. They are also protecting a snail instead of feeding people.

      • The high desert is out in the Antelope Valley with Palmdale, Lancaster, Victorville, etc. The CA coast from Santa Barbara to the border is coastal desert but still gets a good amount of rain ranging from 10″ in San Diego to 18-20″ in Santa Barbara. And the coastal mountains get more than that including snow. BTW, our biggest amount of water comes from the snowpack on the Sierra Nevada and Mt. Shasta. The drought is being caused by the lack of snowpack in the Sierra Nevada over the last 4 years. It’s at 5 % of normal right now.

    • If humans weren’t here the planet could go on being the eternal god no longer worshiped by fools. The planet must go on because it is god!

  7. Ah yes, so hard to be a good leftist these days. Do I protest the Government? The Governor (dumber than dirt soup on a hot day)? Do I stop enjoying my lifestyle and be forced to actually live according to the principles I espouse??? AGGGHHHH! LHE!!!

  8. My sympathies. In FL we often have water restrictions – especially for landscaping. At the same time the state allows Zephyrhills and other water companies to drain our aquifer and sell the water. We are getting more sinkholes all the time.

  9. California Golf Courses
    Public and Private
    California has 1,140 golf courses to choose from. This directory lists the courses by city. The cities with the most golf courses like Palm Desert, San Diego, and La Quinta are listed first under the Top 10. We list all other California cities alphabetically, below.

    http://www.golflink.com/golf-c
    *******
    According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “The average American family of four uses 400 gallons of water per day.” The average golf course uses 312,000 gallons of water, according to Audobon International, meaning each one uses as much water as 780 families of four. In Palm Springs—immediately adjacent to a place called PalmDesert—NPR reported that each of the city’s 57 courses use about a million gallons a day, or about the same as 2,500 families of four.

    Looking statewide, the numbers really get fun. California is second only to Florida in the number of golf courses it has: 921. Together, those courses use as much water as 2.8 million people, or about 7 percent of the state’s population. While middle-class homeowners risk fines for watering their lawns, millions upon millions of gallons of water are wasted every day on a boring leisure sport for the wealthy.

    “Golf courses are a huge problem,” said Adam Keats of the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental advocacy group. And part of that huge problem is the people who play it. “They’re a wealthy elite that have no connection to want or lack,” Keats, head of the center’s California Water Law Project, told me over the phone. “Golfers live in a world of excess.”

    http://www.vice.com/read/save-

    G…. you couldn’t work Barack Hussein Obama’s name into this.. huh?
    slacking off…….

  10. Wow…. Mrs West is attacking a handful of environmentalists for ignoring the dangers of a changing environment and the long term impact it will have on human populations.
    That is ironic.

    Perhaps you can ask your husband to stop fighting against climate change science.

      • that’s just the point Brendan, it is the scientists that are calling this whole “climate change” out as being a hoax! I think the California water shortage is NOT climate change, it iss the lack of planning the state does for an influx of people with limited resources. IF they want to move so many people in that area, PLAN for more water, either through additional tributaries, river damming or desalinization plants. The climate change nonsense has been exposed as a get rich at the expense of everyone else plan.

  11. too many people, it is the reason they have so many problems there. they try to blame “climate change” as the fit all excuse, but it is the stupidity of liberals in the first place that keeps them screwing up everything!

    • So you think the problem of too many people consuming too many resources and not thinking about the long term effect… is a liberal problem?
      Really?

      • yes I do! The fact they will NOT engage will realistic measures (expanding reservoirs, restricting river flows of fresh water into the ocean, etc.) and wonder why the water tables are not able to support the EXPLODING population? It all boils down to math. How many gallons of water does each person use per day. How many gallons of water do the reservoirs hold? Liberals refusal to capture water from mountainous rivers and streams because they like to see the rivers run wild! Kalifornians allow millions of illegals into their cities, and give them licenses???!!! Utopian theology with unrealistic expectations coupled with limited resources stretched to the breaking point make for a great lesson in REALITY for liberals!!! Enjoy your “every other day” shower!!!!

      • OK, I will use SMALL WORDS you Libtard! LIBERALS OPPOSE anything dealing with enlarging reservoirs or collection of water from natural resources. they claim it harms the environment. DO YOU UNDERSTAND???

  12. The term “fossil fuel” was coined in the 1950s when not much was known about the nature of naturally-occurring hydrocarbon products. Environmentalists have used this misconception about naturally occuring oil to their advantage; hence, the now-discredited concept of “peak oil”.
    Oil is abiotic in nature, being produced deep within the earth by yet-unknown processes. Russian oil interests have been drilling deep wells, as much as 30,000 feet deep and coming up with oil deposits–far deeper than that of decayed plant and animal materials.
    It turns that many of our depleted oil wells are “filling back up”; oil is migrating from deep within the earth, upward to many of our present drilling sites.
    There are certain interests that do not want to see oil as a plentiful natural resource–FOLLOW THE MONEY…

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