Letter of the day

 Victor Rosasco, a Roberts Island farmer writes:
“As this is being written the San Joaquin River is flowing backwards. The river is not rain-swollen nor muddy or discolered from storm run-off – normal green. The tide changed from high to out-going 45 minutes ago and you can see that the water level is dropping, but the current is going upriver. A stick thrown in the water floats lazily up stream, drawn by the pumps of the State Water Project. A salmon or steelhead smolt trying to find the ocean would probably take the path of the stick.
“Under pressure from water user groups and central valley politicians the state and federal agencies have eased pumping restrictions designed to protect wildlife and prevent saltwater intrusion in the Delta, in order to ship water south for corporate farms under the guise of helping out families and farms hard hit by the drought.
“Even though anyone in California can turn on a tap and get all the water they want.
“Even though municipal supply reservoirs in souther ca  are for the most part full  and ours are for the most part empty.
“Even though this water was hard fought for to flow through and maintain the Delta and its fisheries.
“Even though Kern county has planted over 60,000 acres of permanent crops sinse 2010.
“Even though where this water is going it probably wil be used for export crops.
“Even though these central valley water agencies corporate farms, and water exchanges have drained every drop of surface water in their area and depleted the aquafier to the point where the ground is sinking.
“All it took was letters from the water agencies and their political allies to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to get the pumps going and the protections for the Delta thrown out. Just think how easy this will be if the BDCP twin tunnels project goes through, since the central and southern ca. water user groups are paying for the tunnels, to get whatever they want  they wont even have to write letters, just flip a switch. “ 

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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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