In December 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued what is known as a “biological opinion” imposing water reductions on the San Joaquin Valley and environs to safeguard the federally protected hypomesus transpacificus, a.k.a., the delta smelt. As a result, tens of billions of gallons of water from mountains east and north of Sacramento was channelled away from farmers and into the ocean, leaving hundreds of thousands of acres of arable land fallow or scorched.
Democrats created a dust bowl based on junk science.
A federal judge later ruled the liberal study that forced California officials to cutback on water to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta was based on faulty science.
But the liberal policy remains.
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The current drought in California is not about global warming – it’s about failed Democrat policies.
Investor’s Business Daily reported:
President Obama visited California’s drought-hit Central Valley Friday, offering handouts and blaming global warming. But the state’s water shortage is due to the left’s refusal to deal with the state’s water needs.
Following legislative action last month by Speaker John Boehner and California’s Central Valley Representatives David Valadao, Devin Nunes and Kevin McCarthy, whose Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act was designed to resolve the long-standing problem of environmental water cutbacks that have devastated America’s richest farmland, Obama is grandstanding in California, too.
His aim, however, is not a long-term solution for California’s now-constant water shortages that have hit its $45 billion agricultural industry, but to preach about global warming. Instead of blaming the man-made political causes of California’s worst water shortage, he’s come with $2 billion in “relief” that’s nothing but a tired effort to divert attention from fellow Democrats’ dereliction of duty in using the state’s water infrastructure.
The one thing that will mitigate droughts in California — a permanent feature of the state — is to restore the water flow from California’s water-heavy north to farmers in the central and south. That’s just what House Bill 3964, which passed by a 229-191 vote last week, does.
But Obama’s plan is not to get that worthy bill through the Senate (where Democrats are holding it up) but to shovel pork to environmental activists and their victims, insultingly offering out-of-work farmers a “summer meal plan” in his package.
“We are not interested in welfare; we want water,” Nunes told IBD this week. He and his fellow legislator Valadao are both farmers who represent the worst-hit regions of the Central Valley in Congress and can only look at the president’s approach with disbelief.
“He’s not addressing the situation,” Valadao told us.
Read the rest here.
More… Here are the facts on California’s Central Valley, via the Natural Resources Committee:
** California’s water storage and transportation system designed by federal and state governments includes 1,200 miles of canals and nearly 50 reservoirs that provide water to about 22 million people and irrigate about four million acres of land throughout the state.
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** In May 2007, a Federal District Court Judge ruled that increased amounts of water had to be re-allocated towards protecting the Delta smelt – a three-inch fish on the Endangered Species List.
** Because of this ruling, in 2009 and 2010 more than 300 billion gallons (or 1 million acre-feet) of water were diverted away from farmers in the Central Valley and into the San Francisco Bay – eventually going out into the Pacific Ocean.
** This man-made drought cost thousands of farm workers their jobs, inflicted up to 40 percent unemployment in certain communities, and fallowed hundreds of thousands of acres of fertile farmland.
** Unemployment remains at a regional average of 17% . With current precipitation at near-record lows, the same regulations will be imposed pushing unemployment even higher.
** The Pelosi-led Congress did nothing to reverse the plight of the San Joaquin Valley and even obstructed repeated Republican actions to reverse the situation. The Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act reflects Republican promises to avoid another man-made drought.