This year has been exceptionally dry, and much of California is in a severe drought. But corporate farmers in Westlands Water District are saying that it is protections for endangered fish in the Delta — not drought — that caused a 20% water allocation this year, and resulted in fallowing of hundreds of thousands of acres of land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. They blame the Delta smelt for unemployment of farmworkers in Mendota.
How much of this is true and how much is myth? Deirdre Des Jardins of California Water Research has done extensive research on the true causes of land fallowing on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.
She’s provided an update of her “Myths and Facts” sheets for SCTDA. We’re proud to host them as a tab on our website. See the new Myths/Facts tab.