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Californians Point to Big-Ag, Unrestrained Development as Drought Culprits


#1

Californians Point to Big-Ag, Unrestrained Development as Drought Culprits

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

As residents adapt to recently imposed water restrictions and California's historic drought continues, experts are closely examining the dry spell's exacerbating factors—from thirsty agribusiness operations to unrestrained development—and saying a fundamental shift is in store for the Golden State.


#2

Well, hopefully some of the gang here at CD will not go on the attack because the cattle industry is mentioned is one of the major factors in over consumption of water. Veganism, vegetarianism, using meat only as a condiment in cooking, meatless Mondays or anything else that reduces this old world instinct is welcome by the planet and its many inhabitants...... Not the only thing but certainly one within our immediate and personal choice.


#3

The cuts have only just begun. Left unwritten is the decline and collapse of crops requiring winter chill. It's not just declining water but a climate changing so that it is no longer friendly to some crops, especially trees requiring winter chill to produce which are all fruit and nut trees that drop their leaves in the winter.
Fracking needs to be halted so that poisoning the groundwater stops.

After beef and dairy come all low return non-edible crops, such as alfalfa, and cotton.
Lets keep water in California by ending its export as fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and meat for the rest of the nation and the world. Let people of Michigan grow their own food.


#4

A friend just reported on his visit to Palm Springs, where he saw water fountains merrily displaying, and sprinklers operating, drenching the sidewalk and running into the street.


#6

At the highest level, I wonder if Captain Moonbeam has a plan for quickly phasing in mandatory water restrictions on Big Ag that forces them to use water more efficiently. Since the central valleys do grow food for most of the US, initial cutoff would be highly disruptive. However, the system as it has developed and now wastes huge amounts of water. Also, they should look at how to get the most out of water distribution by prioritizing what types of products are produced.

As for water use by oil and gas - it is beyond belief that they are exempt. The fracking should be brought to a 100% halt.


#7

Half of the water used in this country is used in rearing livestock headed for the slaughter house...to be eaten by people so that they can have heart attacks. We don't need fewer people - we need smarter people.


#8

Smarter people would understand that the reason so much water is used in rearing livestock is because of the grain grown for use in feedlots. If cattle and other critters were free ranged on marginal land their water needs would plummet and the eaters would be far healthier as well.
Corporate industrial ag practices enabled by the banks and the paid for politicians are the biggest problem.


#9

Climate Change is THE CAUSE! The Carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere has finally caused a major shift in weather patterns, that now have finally arrived to the United States west coast. A permanent high-pressure ridge has parked off-shore from southern Oregon to the Baja peninsula of Mexico due to reasons yet to be figured out with climatological modeling. Want this historical 100,000 year drought event to go away? Stop carbon emissions NOW! But WAIT! It will take Earth weather systems thousands or hundreds of years to dial back to pre-350 parts per million CO2. What to do? Worthless finger-pointing won't work. So, STOP IT! Please.

PS Oh, and by the way, please no nuke stuff. Nuclear reactor isotopes are deadlier than 1,000 Climate Change catastrophes.


#10

The agricultural issue underscores the necessity to transform our ag system from big ag business to much more reliance on smaller scale local production for local consumption.


#11

I seem to agree with everyone today! It is painfully obvious that food production has gotten so out of balance with man's/woman's natural instinct to grow/forage for their own food (same with nest/home building) that now we have one person on $250,000 machine that is producing food for hundreds if not thousands of people. And it is generally mind and body numbing inferior foods or the end product of these foods, that keep much of the population in a wreaked (boardering on opiated) state.

Mechanization, automation, artificial intelligence are putting more and more out of work, regardless of experience, training and education. What is needed now is rolling up our sleeves and getting to work on the most fundamental job that has faced every human that walked the earth: The job of individual and the communal group producing foods, celebrating life through culture, games and art and treating the earth so it will continue to fulfill the promise of life and love for future generations.

The people and institutions that propagate endless competition, war, and ego based selfishness must be sent to the back of the room for our own survival!


#17

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#19

"It takes a lot of grassland to raise a grassfed steer. Western rangelands are vast, but not nearly vast enough to sustain America’s 100 million head of cattle. There is no way that grassfed beef can begin to feed the current meat appetites of people in the United States, much less play a role in addressing world hunger." The vast majority of beef comes from feedlots and it is growing at about 20 % a year. It takes more grain protein to raise a pound of beef protein then is found in a pound of beef. It is not a sustainable food source without the huge subsidies to feed production water use etc.


#20

The runoff ditch outside my house is running fast with tail waters from flood irrigating a grass hay field next door.


#22

Can someone please say Desalination. LA/SF/Sacramento has the bucks.

El Paso finally created their own clean water production factory feeding
off the brine water in their water table. Just filters...lotsa good water......

We gotta quite flushing toilets/et al with drinking water.

BTW, the most lucrative crop CA is planting in drought is strawberries >>>>>

And I disagree, the problem is not Capitalism, it is Unbridled Capitalism.
Rather like driving without traffic laws.


#23

It's doubtful that "humans" caused anything here. That is, if the bankster class and their heirs are still human or ever were. And, yes: Chem trails are real. Secret experimental seeding of the lower troposphere has been on-going since the rain-making experiments of the sixties, with ammonia compounds. Now it's experimental Climate Change technological fixes. These are probably taking center stage, including the off-shoots of concentrating energy beams from Reagan's star-wars boondoggle days, may still be triggering ionosphere disruptions; but like the sixties: top-secret, so their existence cannot be proven through standard investigatory procedures. Whistle blowers are now considered traitors (though they are not by any measure of decency). But are the banksters of wall street, london, dubai or beijing - or their soon to be heirs, human? I'd reserve judgement here. Cellular mutating particles of nuclear reactor spent fuel isotopes, may have been accidentally ingested by these sheltered elites and their ilk! How? When you have more petro-dollars than Mr. Goldfinger ever dreamed of having? Who knows how wickedly insane these Faustian rebels from hell have become from their trades with Satan, himself?


#24

One little tiny word in this article with little explanation demonstrates some editing power of human cause: oil. Every oil well drilled uses 5 million gallons of fresh water every month. THAT'S 5 MILLION GALLONS OF FRESH WATER EVERY MONTH. Got it? And they put out cautions about allowing the bathroom faucet to run while you brush your teeth for two minutes! Austerity is for the little people. Getting their minds cluttered with minutia, they are mentally disabled, cannot comprehend every oil and gas well in California uses and permanently pollutes 5 million gallons of fresh water per month! And Dick Cheney made sure that those corporations were given a free pass from regulations about clean air, clean water, safe drinking water and CERCLA. Mr. Obama while senator voted FOR the exemptions. So, reductio ad absurdum, USAn 98 %ers must restrain themselves while brushing teeth or taking a shower.


#25

The 2nd Largest Geothermal Field in the country is located adjacent to The Salton Sea ( the state's largest lake at 350-square miles ) in the southernmost corner in California. Not because of the Drought, but because of an historic farm-to-city water transfer regarding Colorado River water, the Sea will dry-up. 110 years of farm run-off have kept the sea full; That's all going to change later this year. The particulate will get picked up by the wind and sweep a huge path to Palm Springs down to Baja sate capital, Mexicali. Millions of people will face toxic dust & will fall to asthma and worse.
Two 30-inch PIPES should be dipped into The Sea of Cortez, attached to the steppes of Laguna Salada, connected to Mexicali, and then affixed to the BED of The New River, for the 67-mile trip downhill to 150-feet below sea-level at Niland, where the mud volcanoes are. These two SIPHONS will operate 24/7, as will the geothermal DISTILLATION. This process is 80% cheaper than traditional Reverse Osmosis.
The pure product we pour into the Sea ( 225-feet below sea-level ), which will make it healthy and the Valley wealthy. The pure salt we extract we sell to a fine dining supplier.


#26

Add one more grossly under-reported result of capitalism: How can ANYONE forget 3-11-2011? The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant blew to high heavens! and Japan's TEPCO owners lost 3 reactor cores - 100% melted and buried, lost somewhere, (Now. beneath three brand-new sarcophaguses, covering the previously destroyed reactor buildings). This ongoing, virtually never reported upon, nuclear reactor catastrophe is singularly unique. Chernobyl and 3-Mile Island pale in comparison; they were partial meltdowns and though, their actual casualty totals still remain secret, Japan's totals will be mind-boggling, if the story can ever get out. TEPCO is protected by a newly enacted Japanese law, making reporting on Fukushima a criminal offense, but I digress.

How about the 4 exploded spent fuel pools at Daiichi? Each contained hundreds, maybe multiple thousands of tons tons, each, of a stored mixture of radio-nucleides: Three held the original Uranium 235 and 238 along with their products - to mention the deadliest medium-lived( lasting 250,000 to 300 years, resp.) ones: Plutonium 239, Strontium 90 and Cesium 137 are still circulating in the northern hemisphere jet streams, mainly, Number 3 reactor was deadly MOX fuel, a mixture of bomb-grade Plutonium 239 with U 235 & 238.

According to Japan records, before the news blackout, leaks from the cooling water for the destroyed buildings, plus ground water mixing with the lost "3 coriums", totals 300 to 1000 tons of radioactive water into the north Pacific Ocean each and every day since 3-11. That means particles from nano-size to to dust to tiny particles mixing with the Pacific and flowing eastward. Enough. This stuff disgusts me.


#27

The population continues to decline in my well-watered region of the US.


#28

Doesn't the modern Salton Sea only date to the early 20th century - formed by a man-made breach of the Colorado River in a canal spilling into the below sea-level lake basin?