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On Wednesday April 1, 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown declared via ‘executive order’ that mandatory water restrictions would be imposed upon all California residents, farms, businesses, cities, and towns in the hopes of reducing water usage by 25%. And even though this mandate coincided with April Fool’s Day, I don’t think too many people were laughing.
Brown stated that “we’re in a new era… the idea of your nice little green grass getting lots of water every day, that’s going to be a thing of the past.”
Someone being brutally honest might have instead said: :we’re in a new era, that of the recklessly ignorant environmentalist.”
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Assuming there is a 25% reduction in water use, the savings might amount to approximately 1.5 million acre-feet of water (an acre foot of water equals about 325,000 gallons) over nine months, according to state officials.
But the trusty Governor forget to mention the other devastating news that will be affecting Californians and all Americans are a result of his ‘executive order’; the cost of eating will be going up considerably!
Nevertheless, the most important question might be the one that is not being asked: why is there a water shortage?
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The blanket ‘politically correct’ (yet incorrect) answer that has been repeated over and over by the Marxist-environmentalists is ‘Global Warming.’ However, as a result of the emergence of the historical climate data painting a very different picture, their latest mantra has morphed to ‘Climate Change.’ One of the best-known meteorologists has called the junk science behind these theories “pure baloney.”
The fact is the earth has been much, much warmer and with far more CO2 than we see today; and it has also been much, much colder as well. The notion that man is causing ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’ is a fiction of socialist-environmentalists and belongs in Grimm’s Fairy Tales. The climate of the earth has changed constantly over millions of years, and man has had nothing to do with that change. However, there have been documented changes attributable to man that have absolutely affected the amount of water that Californians and others have and can use.
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Let’s take a look at some real culprits for the water shortages, which augment the naturally occurring change in climate evolution and weather patterns (which is nothing new). What is new is man and his development of land. Land development and planning is fairly simple compared to other more complex problems. However, land development and planning is nonetheless made complex by politics and greed.
Under New Management
When the leftist-dominated environmentalist movement became popular in the 1960s, coincidentally with the heavy infiltration of Marxist operators and professors into America, things in America changed. The environmentalist movement found synergy with the socialist-Marxist movement; and given the huge influence on college campuses then (and now), many areas of thought were modified in favor of this movement, including things like land-use planning, forestry, water-resource planning, and fisheries management. Generally, environmentalists favor the lives of trees, fish, and frogs over the lives of humans; and their actions speak volumes in this regard. Do these people care if you and your children have enough water to drink and cool off in the summer? Heck no! They are more interested in seeing a pollywog or a fish 500 miles away having the water, without compromise.
By the time the environmentalist movement took hold over most government planning and regulatory agencies (EPA, etc.), earlier planners had already built out a great portion of the lands in California (and elsewhere), especially in the most habitable areas of central and southern California. Additionally, California agricultural exports became and remain America’s leading supplier. As a part of that earlier planning (1945-1965), many dams were built in order to support the land-use planning, development, and vision at that time. The dams that had been built prior to that time solved many problems related to the development and use of the land, including preventing flood damage and storing water from winter rain for use by the growing populations; and agriculture. Dams, and the lakes they form also provide habitat for scores of wildlife and recreational opportunities, and produce thousands of megawatts of clean-green energy.
But with the advent of ‘environmentalism’, dams were seen as a very bad thing by these same environmentalists–as well as the planned construction of the new dams needed to keep up with water needs. It even became trendy to protest anything that might change the living conditions for almost any biological organism except humans! Instead of making small adjustments in wildlife and resource management practices that would dovetail with existing planning, the management trends and practices proffered by environmentalists, who made it a point to insert themselves into the process, were draconian, moratorium-styled changes. The lives and livelihoods of men and women meant less to these environmentalists than some poorly understood insect or owl.
In the 1970s, as a result of the ‘spotted owl’ debacle, I watched entire families go bankrupt as cities in the Pacific Northwest fell into decline due to skyrocketing unemployment that affected tens of thousands of people in Oregon, Washington, and California. Suddenly, everything was either protected or completely off-limits as the Federal government jumped into the environmentalists’ game, seeing an opportunity to own and control more public lands–thus further exacerbating the unfolding economic problems across the board.
Federal forests suddenly fell under ‘new management’, and this is important. The environmentalists had quite handily convinced the Government that they had all the answers–in this case, to forest and wildlife management policies. Of course, this ‘sway’ was a result of their infiltration on the academic side; the professors who were teaching resource management and writing the college textbooks on the subjects were mostly socialist-environmentalists. In the case of forest management practices in regard to the spotted owl and timber harvests, they basically adopted a ‘hands-off’ position and, for all intents and purposes, shut loggers out of the forests. So forests that previously were carefully managed by loggers, whose lives depended upon renewable harvests, were left untouched and became so severely overgrown that we started having forest fires that consumed one million acres of forests annually in the Pacific Northwest, burning for months on end. So much for the spotted owls and their virgin forest habitats, which are now gone forever; ashes wash down with the muds of erosion into the streams and rivers and cover the spawning beds for thousands of fish, which are also now in decline as a result. In the past, the loggers’ management practices prevented such devastating fires and catastrophic erosion; and the owls, as well as all the rest of the wildlife, flourished in harmony with loggers and logging.
But this is what happens when you exchange ‘generational knowledge’ (that had been compiled though actual experience for over a century) with a college graduate with a few years of textbook learning. And it remains an unfolding disaster to this day; and less trees means less water in the water-table.
Finally, however, some people in government are starting to advocate what loggers knew four decades ago when the environmentalists showed up on the scene: college graduates don’t have the experience that 4 generations of loggers who lived in the woods had flowing in their veins!
So this leads back to our unfolding water shortage in California; the following is a summary of the executive order issued by the Governor:
For the first time in state history, the Governor has directed the State Water Resources Control Board to implement mandatory water reductions in cities and towns across California to reduce water usage by 25 percent. This savings amounts to approximately 1.5 million acre-feet of water over the next nine months, or nearly as much as is currently in Lake Oroville.
To save more water now, the order will also:
- Replace 50 million square feet of lawns throughout the state with drought tolerant landscaping in partnership with local governments;
- Direct the creation of a temporary, statewide consumer rebate program to replace old appliances with more water and energy efficient models;
- Require campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes to make significant cuts in water use; and
- Prohibit new homes and developments from irrigating with potable water unless water-efficient drip irrigation systems are used, and ban watering of ornamental grass on public street medians.
Notice what’s missing in Gov. Brown’s solution? What’s missing is the most common and well-proven way to store winter rainwater (much of which is not required to maintain fish and wildlife, and just runs into the sea) for mankind: construction of new dams!
But what some people don’t realize is that Gov. Brown is in a real jam; how can he possibly talk about the best single solution (more dams) for creating more available water (and jobs, by the way) when he is currently supporting the removal of several perfectly good dams in Siskiyou County? And adding insult to injury, California taxpayers will foot the bill for this insane dam removal project, costing approximately one billion ($1,000,000,000.00) dollars, which could be used to build more water storage dams instead.
These particular dams hold approximately 135,000 acre-feet of fresh water; that’s nearly 44 billion gallons of fresh water that may disappear at a time when California desperately needs more water, not less! These dams also produce about 150 megawatts of clean-green electrical power for Californians. What kind of lunacy does this potential dam removal action represent? The simple answer is greed!
California needs more dams (and the water they can provide), not fewer. Bad management of the People’s resources is at the root of these and many other problems we all face and, according to socialist-environmentalists, must endure. And for Californians who are being shorted on their water by a short-sighted politician, I think it’s a good bet that the bigwigs will have all the water they want for their spas, pools, and lawns–regardless of rationing. Think about the 44 billion gallons of fresh water these people want to carelessly drain into the sea, and then email or phone Gov. Brown and give him a piece of your mind! And if you live outside California, this same paradigm is (or soon will be) affecting you as well; so make it a point to become proactive while you can!
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website.