Mr. King wrote a supporting op-ed for the Bakersfield Californian. I am delighted with his picture. I am amused by this:
The past policy accomplished the desired goal; California attracted people from all over the country and developed into an economic powerhouse.
Mr. King properly understands that publically elected officials set a policy goal (economic development) for their water works. What is funny to me is that he doesn’t see that subsequent publically elected officials have set a new goal by the same process they once set the old goal. By the lights of the old goal, allocating water to the environment is inexplicable! THERE WAS AN OLD GOAL BACK THEN! What madness has overcome all the politicians since sixty years ago?
Mr. Cline wishes agriculture would work together as one, like they last did when defeating labor laws.
Agreements have been few and far between. The greatest occurred 40 years ago when agriculture united to defeat Proposition 14, which would have given the United Farm Workers open access to every farm in the state.
This is the shining example of agriculture presenting a united front? How inspiring.
I haven’t read the federal Drought Action Plan yet. I am afraid I will die of boredom from clichés and safe proposals. This article about the plan emphasizes data, so there’s half of my fears realized. The headline to the article teases me: Obama calls for proactive drought strategy. What would that look like?
I’ll tell you what proactive drought strategy would look like. In agriculture, it would look like consolidating what little ag water we get on lands that produce important food for humans, perhaps as a zoning scheme. It tells growers in advance where we won’t allow water to go in dry years, so they will know not to plant permanent crops. It regulates groundwater, even in drought, so we choose which communities take the economic hit. It holds growers accountable for the subsidence their pumping causes. Proactive drought strategy prevents adjacent growers from sucking municipal wells dry. Proactive drought strategy helps the growers we want to support bridge dry times, perhaps with direct monetary support. Proactive drought strategy plans this in advance of dry years. But I would be extremely surprised to read any of this in the new federal drought plan. It is too shocking to write even in a State plan, in a state in Year Five of a drought, so I don’t expect to see it in the federal plan.
For all that we talk about Australia as an example, we sure don’t seem to be learning from it. Nothing in the mainstream talk about Californian water markets mentions keeping foreign investors from speculating with Californian water rights.
h/t to Chance of Rain.
Delta Watermaster George’s report on how farmers in the Delta voluntarily cut their water use by nearly a third is wonderfully written, not government-ese at all. Since I respect all well-managed irrigation systems and think the current emphasis on drip is overly simplistic, I liked the detail on alternate furrow irrigation. I share the growers’ concern about salt build-up.
h/t to Alex Breitler
I will be pleased to vote for either Democratic candidate in November. In general, I think they will be greatly constrained by Congress and have to work through their agencies. I very much like the thought of a Bureau of Reclamation instructed by President Sanders to prioritize clawing back the wealth of the 1% over all else. He is a single-issue person and that would be a very interesting single issue to determine Reclamation’s doings.