Dust, Dry Seed & Fishies

by Rainbow Bobbins

On our Tour de Fresno, ma and I stopped by Fresno’s City Hall for the protest organized by the California Latino Water Coalition to assert water rights for valley farmers. Things are really heating up in California’s Central Valley over water allotment for valley farms. Already desiccated by a few years of drought, the federal government has now limited the amount of water flowing into West side farms in an effort to protect endangered Salmon and fish smelt from dying in the pumps. Some farmers are reported to be receiving only 10% of their standard water allotment. Cali’s central valley is the richest source of domestically grown food in the United States. No water translates to no jobs, no food. Through out the state, farmers are taking to the streets to demand that water supplies be redirected to farms. On the other side of the coin, commercial fishing, coastal towns and environmentalist are in favor of protecting vulnerable fish populations during spawning season by reducing water flows out of the west’s largest freshwater estuary near the Sacramento river delta. Fish populations have been in steady decline over the past few decades – impacting commercial fishing and consumption. Since the 1970s, winter run Chinook salmon counts have gone down by 90% (according to a few articles).  What is the happy medium? Jobs, food and the environment are impacted on all sides. Water politics will be interesting and scary to follow over the next few decades. Water – the new oil? Watch out for organizations like the World Water Council – follow the money…privatization agenda? Domestic and Global water issues are a recent interest and I would like to learn more – does anyone know of any good books on global water politics, privatization? What is the proposed solution for the San Joaquin Valley situation? – I would appreciate an update if you know more. I will add pics from the protest…