California’s Gov. Jerry “Moonbean” Brown has declared a water emergency in California due to drought conditions. But, what the Gov. is not saying is that he, and his radical environmentalist buddies, are largely responsible for the harsh effects of the drought.
Herman Cain reports:
As the Wall Street Journal’s Allysia Finley explains, the lack of rain is obviously the source of the problem. But liberal state policies that bow at the altar of environmental groups are not helping at all:
During normal years, the state should replenish reservoirs. However, environmental regulations require that about 4.4 million acre-feet of water—enough to sustain 4.4 million families and irrigate one million acres of farmland—be diverted to ecological purposes. Even in dry years, hundreds of thousands of acre feet of runoff are flushed into San Francisco Bay to protect fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
During the last two winters amid the drought, regulators let more than 2.6 million acre-feet out into the bay. The reason: California lacked storage capacity north of the delta, and environmental rules restrict water pumping to reservoirs south. After heavy rains doused northern California this February, the State Water Resources Control Board dissipated tens of thousands of more acre-feet. Every smelt matters.
Californian Republican Presidential candidate, Carly Fiorina, has weighed in on the matter according to Newsmax:
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO and potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina is blaming “overzealous liberal environmentalists” for the water shortages caused by California’s ongoing drought.
“Specifically, these policies have resulted in the diversion of more than 300 billion gallons of water away from farmers in the Central Valley and into the San Francisco Bay in order to protect the Delta smelt, an endangered fish that environmentalists have continued to champion at the expense of Californians. This water is simply being washed out to sea, instead of being channeled to the people who desperately need it,” Fiorina wrote in Time. “While they have watched this water wash out to sea, liberals have simultaneously prevented the construction of a single new reservoir or a single new water conveyance system over decades.”
Herman Cain explains this lack of reservoir construction:
Increased surface storage would give regulators more latitude to conserve water during heavy storm-flows and would have allowed the state to stockpile larger reserves during the 15 years that preceded the last drought. Yet no major water infrastructure project has been completed in California since the 1960s.
Money is not the obstacle. Since 2000 voters have approved five bonds authorizing $22 billion in spending for water improvements.
Meantime, green groups won’t allow new storage regardless—and perhaps because—of the benefits. California’s Department of Water Resources calculates that the proposed Sites Reservoir, which has been in the planning stages since the 1980s, could provide enough additional water during droughts to sustain seven million Californians for a year.
Of course, Gov. “Moonbeam” and the environmentalists blame “climate change” for the drought as Newsmax explains:
Environmental groups staunchly disagree, saying weather patterns are to blame. “We simply don’t have rain or snow pack and are suffering the worst California drought since water agencies and weather trackers started keeping records,” Kathryn Phillips, director of Sierra Club’s California chapter, told the Huffington Post.
But, farm groups in California, whose crops are literally drying up point out the real culprit according to Newsmax.
Yet many California farm groups agree with Fiorina, tracing their woes to 1992 federal legislation meant to protect endangered species and landscapes that permanently reduced their water allocation. Since then, lawsuits have further eroded farmer water rights, they say, slowly turning off the tap in the name of environmental goals that may or may not be met.
The California Department of Water Resources, which tracks use, agrees. “The farmers are right,” said agency spokesman Doug Carlson. From 2001-2010, average net water use in California, counting environmental purposes, was about 47 percent environmental, 43 percent for farming and 10 percent city use.
It is no wonder, then, that California is drying up. If the state is flushing 47% of its water resources “out to sea” in some misguided environmentalist scheme, no wonder the state is running out of water.
Ah, liberalism – ya gotta love it! Looks good on paper (and dubious computer models), but fails miserably in the real world!