The state has oversold “Paper Water”

Today’s article in the Sacramento Bee is titled, “Winter Salmon Run Decimated.”

This is awful – but not unanticipated. But the article illustrates how the farmers continue to ignore the real problem and keep saying it’s the farmer versus the fish – clearly they don’t understand The Fable of the Farmer and the Fish.

The state started nailing the coffin for the salmon when they moved all of the water from the Northern CA reservoirs south, “assuming” it wasn’t really the start of a multi-year drought. Letting farmers on the west side continue to expand, expand, expand and having no rules for how many acres elsewhere were converted from line crops to almonds has brought California to this.

“Chinook salmon are among the hardiest, most robust fish that we know of,” said Jon Rosenfield, a biologist with the nonprofit Bay Institute. “Even if you don’t care about fish, the fact that Chinook salmon can’t survive in the Sacramento River is a testament to how poorly we treat our rivers.”

The article illustrates the problem the state has a with water. The fact is that way too much water was being taken out of the Delta even back in 2009, impacting Northern California farmers, water quality (causing tons of invasive weeds in our waterways), as well as fish.

Yet from the farmers’ perspective, the fish can’t be saved anyway so they should still get all the water that exists and more. They continue to try to make it an argument of the farmer versus the fish. That isn’t correct. It’s about a valuable resource in Northern California being decimated for profit.

The state need to start asking questions about how many crops we can support, and on what land, and stop the “paper water” overcommitment of resources.

See the entire article here.

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