Agriculture · View

Amid a drought, disinformation runs rampant on Calif.’s waterways

Welcome to dry California, a place where we have one full reservoir: a reservoir full of hyperbole, propaganda, and political theatre. 

Long gone are the days of subtle jockeying, messaging, and warnings dressed down to make you aware of a possible, potential, or likely situation. 

Those messages are now replaced by panic and urgent crisis so radical that they more resemble a thirty-minute sitcom of comedy where credibility and accountability have no place.  

The assumption by the messengers of doom and gloom that common sense has gone missing seems to be working for half of us, while the other half are told that deprogramming is necessary for the future of our country.

The latest eye-opener is that all winter-run Chinook salmon could die and “water-wasting farmers” are drying up the equivalent of our two largest reservoirs.

When it comes to headline science, it is unbelievable that I cannot find a story explaining how it is that the individuals of the Editorial Board of The Mercury News do not require food three times per day.

This latest episode of “The Dark Winter” stars the Natural Resources Defense Council’s own Doug Obegi, and the aforementioned Editorial Board of The Merc.

It starts with a March 1 blog by Obegi entitled, “The CVP and SWP Plan to Drain CA’s Two Largest Reservoirs.”

It is in this segment of the comedy act we learn of the potential death of all winter-run Chinook and the possibility of violations of water quality standards. (Emphasis ours.)  

While explaining the Bureau of Reclamation and California Department of Water Resources plans to allocate 5 million acre-feet of water this year as if the delivery of our human right is an atrocity, he gives a comparison of his view of this wasteful use of resources by writing that 5 million acre-feet of water is enough to supply Los Angeles for 10 years.

See, Obegi is not interested in halting water deliveries for everyone. He’s interested in halting water deliveries to everyone outside of the Delta and the Bay Area.

Any water that enters the Delta according to Obegi and the NRDC should either benefit the Bay Area or become salt water.

His actions and words prove it.

But, he probably shouldn’t have used Los Angeles as an example after celebrating the hopeful prospect of diminishing dependence by Los Angeles on Delta water in previous salvos.

Apparently there are times when Obegi thinks Los Angeles is too dependent on water from the Delta but today, this 5 million acre-feet could supply them for 10 years. There it is again – hyperbole, propaganda, and political theatre.

After the commercial break, the Editorial Boards of the Mercury News and East Bay Times make their appearance.

They stick to the meaningless claims which mainstream media is bound to write about due to their own limitations in what a amounts to an NRDC re-run titled, “Newsom should kill plan to drain state reservoirs” on March 10.

From the opinion piece, “On the tail end of the second dry winter in a row, with water almost certain to be in short supply this summer, California water officials are apparently planning to largely drain the equivalent of the state’s two largest reservoirs to satisfy the thirst of water-wasting farmers.” (Emphasis, again, ours).

They hit all the bullet points including farms wasting water and the export of certain crops.

Unmentioned is one key point: the two reservoirs being targeted by the thinning newspaper and environmental lobby are utilized to grow the food on their tables.

Meanwhile, the water they have come to rely upon is derived from the single body of water not over-regulated by draconian environmental edicts.

Along with hyperbole, propaganda, and political theatre, hypocrisy also no longer needs to be shielded or hidden.

Instead of writing garbage about exports in an attempt to harm agriculture they should practice investigative journalism for the benefit of their readers such as finding reasons why Texas imports companies like Oracle from their own back yard.

What truly matters is that the majority of people realize the drivel from groups like NRDC and failing newspapers is just that – nonsense.

Neither will ever solve any water issues in California in a positive way.

While they can convince people to continue or double-down on the failures of California water policy, they will never attempt a real and honest solution.

A real and honest solution won’t pay salaries of these people or further their agenda. It is nothing more than hyperbole, propaganda, and political theatre.

Sadly, it’s no comedy hour, it’s just dangerous.

And while many of us believe there is a place for environmental activism, the most extreme of those activists do not feel the same way about agriculture.

Today, the consensus of California’s agricultural community knows, realizes, and admits water solutions are many combined. It also knows that everything which requires water is important.

Meanwhile, radical environmental groups and agenda-driven media simply want agriculture vanished.

We have apparently reached a point when it is acceptable to many to openly write about, “water-wasting farmers.”

The fact of the matter is that CVP farmers, regular targets of groups like these are currently planned to receive only 5 percent of their contracted water supply.

Maybe cooperation, understanding, and appreciation would accompany Obegi receiving 5 percent of his salary or Editorial Boards left with 5 percent of their subscribers.

Wayne Western, Jr. the The Sun’s Agriculture Pulse contributor, writing on the San Joaquin Valley’s agricultural community and water issues.