Wednesday, December 26, 2007

 

Water supply crisis in the Sacramento - San Joaquin River Delta, California

Conservation, recycling and underground water storage are the best solutions.


Letter sent via web form - email on 26dec2007
To: Lois Wolk - California State Assemblymember - 8th Assembly District.

In your brief TV appearances on Comcast you express strong support for protecting The Delta. What policies do you support to achieve that objective?

Our policy should be to invest in water use efficiency for the future in California.

I support water conservation, water recycling and water storage by recharging underground aquifers as the solutions to restore The Delta and to solve the water supply crisis in California. It would be foolish to bankrupt our state and to destroy northern California & The Delta by building new dams and canals to move more water to southern California. Many of the urgent problems in The Delta will be solved by simply sending LESS water to southern California!!

Stop the selenium irrigation waste disaster in the Westlands Water District.

Continuing to irrigate the selenium-poisoned toxic soils of the Westlands Water District in southern California is an absurd waste of our precious fresh water resources and an environmental disaster that should no longer be permitted. Twenty years after the disaster at Kesterson Reservoir there is still no solution to the selenium wastes that are produced by irrigating these poisoned lands, so these farms in Westlands Water District are now serving as their own local toxic waste dumps. Once we stop irrigating this poisoned wasteland and the farms of Westlands are retired from agricultural production suddenly there will be no more water supply problem and no need to destroy The Delta to pump more water to southern California. California should acknowledge that it was a terrible mistake to permit irrigation to begin in this area. I agree with the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility that we should buy out the farms in the Westlands Water District and finally put an end to this environmental disaster.

* Kesterson Reservoir - Wikipedia.
* Massive California Water Reclamation Scheme Full of Holes - Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility 30aug2007.
* Feinstein Turns to Drainage - Fresno Bee 12june2007.

All treated wastewater and storm water runoff in California must be recycled.

Coastal and southern Califonia cities must make more efficient use of the freshwater resources that they already get. Every drop of treated wastewater and storm water runoff must be captured and recycled in some way. Building more dams and canals in northern California will only encourage the present wasteful & inefficient water usage in southern California to continue. Instead California should invest more money in building the water efficient systems of the future. It is crazy to let southern and coastal California cities continue dumping fresh water into the ocean while demanding more freshwater resources from northern California.

* California has enough water - Los Angeles Times 23oct2007.
* Sewer Water to Drinking Water For Orange County, CA - watersecretsblog 29nov2007.
* Groundwater Replenishment System, Orange County, CA.

Agriculture must use California's water resources more efficiently.

Agriculture uses 80% of the water in California so farmers must become a big part of the solution to our water supply problems. Currently we subsidize our agriculture by providing farms with water at costs far below the rates that cities pay for their drinking and industrial water supplies. This provides the economic incentive for the inefficient water use that we see on our farms today. Whenever I drive through the countryside I see wasteful dirt-lined irrigation ditches and flood-and-furrow irrigation methods that are just like the methods used by the ancient Egyptians. "Below-cost water also encourages farmers to grow water-hungry crops such as rice, cotton, and alfalfa." (Industrial Farms: Water Hogs and Subsidy Guzzlers - Natural Resources Defense Council) Only by reducing the water cost subsidy to agriculture will farmers get a new incentive to use water more efficiently. We need to make more use of the modern water conserving irrigation technologies that are already used in other arid lands throughout the world. (Irrigation drip by drip - Agricultural Research 01march1991.) We undoubtedly could grow more food with less water if we became smarter about how our precious water is used.

* Thirsty crops cause water shortages and pollution - World Wildlife Fund 20july2007.

No more taxpayer subsidies for water waste - California needs a new policy of water use efficiency.

Taxpayers in California should not be asked to continue subsidizing the wasteful urban & agricultural water practices of the past. California needs to establish a policy of investing in the new water efficient technologies of the future.

I like food and I like farmers!! California needs to find different ways to subsidize our agricultural crop production if necessary to ensure that most of our food production remains local. We do not want to become too dependent upon foreign sources for our food as we currently are for our energy.

For more information:
* Yolo County is becoming another battleground in the California Water Wars 23dec2007.
* Stop the peripheral canal again 19dec2007.
* Water Policy Debacle for California 12dec2007.
* Restore The Sacramento - San Joaquin River Delta and Water Policy California.
* California Delta Directory - Recreation, Conservation, Water Supply & Water Policy.
Selenium Directory - toxic waste in irrigation drainage from the western San Joaquin Valley of California (25 sites).

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