Jeff Michael at UOP’s Business Forecasting Center compared this week’s battle over San Joaquin River flow at the State Water Resource Control Board to The Hunger Games. In one person’s summation, he “shows how the little people fight over crumbs (of water) while the big, monied interests sit back and dump buckets on arid soils to grow crops for export.”
Here’s Michael: “Why did it remind me of the Hunger Games?
“Exempted from the fighting arena, and undoubtedly watching the webcast on their computers, were a group of wealthy interests who are influential in the Capitol.
“The state and federal water contractors divert massive amounts of water from this river system to places outside the water shed. They have junior water rights, are wealthier, not even in the river watershed, and in many cases have cost competitive alternative water supplies that they aren’t adequately utilizing. They are a huge part of this problem, whether it is the lack of flow on the San Joaquin from their upstream diversions before it gets to this area, the contaminated runoff from their westside farming, and the massive diversions in the South Delta.
“How can they be absent from this proceeding while the peasants (i.e. the relatively small farmers represented by relatively small water districts with senior water rights, both tributaries and Delta, the fisherman, and the environmentalists) are pounding the crap out of each other?”
Because their political clout is tantamount to ultra-senior water rights. Their wealth and political sway have allowed them to create a parallel law to the law that regulates the people of our region.