This is a horrible tease. “Lessons From Oil Industry May Help Address Groundwater Crisis”, it says, and my eyes dilated and my breath quickened. Does the oil industry have something to teach us about extending yields by sustainable extraction methods? Did they find a distribution regime that, surprisingly, satisfied all the users? What can the oil industry teach us?!! Fucking nothing. There are no lessons in that piece. It tells us what we all already know about groundwater (that it is being mined faster than replenished), alluded to something called “unitization“, and doesn’t tell us what it is. Besides that, there’s nothing in that article that water people don’t already talk about. I don’t appreciate being lead on.
Wait, wait, WHAT? This review of the new tv series V says:
It quickly emerged that the space lizards, handsome in their human disguises, wanted to take our water and then use it to wash us tasty earthlings down.
Why don’t I remember that?! The lizards wanted to take our water?!! I just barely remember the original series. In fact, all I remember is a face coming off. How did they want to take the water? Which water? What about area-of-origin rights?
Seriously, this is so whiny that I’m embarrassed they’re representing me. It is such a blatant cry for Other People’s Money. There are multiple causes for the Delta’s collapse. One of them is plausibly ammonias from Sacramento’s wastewater. We will probably have to fix several of the causes at the same time. Given that one of the causes is our shit, and that everyone in the state is under expensive burdens just like ours, seems like Sacramento should suck it up and pay to clean our discharged wastewater.
Felt seesawing emotions about this op-ed. Rebecca Solnit! She’s great! But then she says “cotton, rice, alfalfa”, and I thought ‘oh no. You too, Ms. Solnit?’ Her main point veered off, so I didn’t have to lose faith in her entirely. Because I think she is so very awesome, I will arbitrarily ask even more of her. I would very much like it if people who want us to stop using water in some particular way would acknowledge the rest of what they mean. Growers aren’t irrigating cotton, rice and alfalfa for their masturbatory pleasure. They are doing it because those crops achieve something. Rice is bought and eaten by humans. Alfalfa grown with subsidized water leads to artificially cheap milk and meat, and people are now accustomed to those prices. The follow-through for “stop irrigating alfalfa” is pay more for (and eat less) beef and dairy. Which, you know, I’m all for. I guess I’m mostly objecting to the implication that one could remove those practices without seeing ripple effects.
From Carl Pope’s piece in the Huffington Post:
Instead of recognizing that we first need to use every drop of water that falls near us and only then rely on long-distance transport and surface storage, the governor’s proposal continues excessive reliance on outmoded water-storage solutions, lowers the emphasis on protection provided by existing law for the health of California’s waterways, does almost nothing to enhance local self-reliance on water supplies, and fails to guarantee commonsense reforms of water policy. [my emphasis]
I dunno, dude. The bond measure includes a billion dollars for Integrated Regional Water Management (which is DWR’s program emphasizing local supplies). Were you hoping for more than a billion dollars?
His next paragraph was interesting:
We’re still going to try to force a huge portion of the state’s water supply through the unstable and fragile bottleneck of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, where a single engineering flaw, natural disaster, or malicious attack could bring the entire state to its knees for years.
Does he have a different route in mind? I am so curious. Upstream of Sacramento somewhere? Connected to the restored San Joaquin River? This is visionary new thinking!! Where, besides through the Delta, would one move Shasta and Oroville water to south of the Delta? An eastern route, pumped over the Sierras and connecting to the LA Aquaduct?
Dan Bacher’sAn anonymous tweeter’s slams against environmental groups that support the water bill are annoying. According to his twitter feed, he likes his environmental groups “homegrown, representative of community, not Big AG”. You know, the groups he is slamming have a long history of advocacy against agricultural water waste and subsidies. The other term for “homegrown” and representative of community” is NIMBYism, and that has its own pernicious aspects. Slighting someone else’s environmentalism because they don’t have the same vision of the Delta (or California as a whole) is an asshole move.
(Apologies to Mr. Bacher, who I’m told is likely not the tweeter behind StopPeripheralCanal. I don’t know why I thought he was.)