We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Around 4 million acres of California farms are dependent on irrigation. Without imported or diverted water, those acres cannot grow crops reliably, and never did grow much before irrigation.
It's been a dry year in California and Oregon, but these things happen. California has never had enough water, especially in southern California. As usual in dry places, people fight over water: California Drought Is Not About ‘Climate Change’ – It’s About Policy
California Central Valley farmers built their farms on water diverted from the Colorado River and sold to them at outrageously low prices, far far lower than the cost to consumers. That is, taxpayers subsidize the farmers water.
And their irrigation methods are Neandrathal: an Israeli agriculturalist was shocked at how water is wasted, just poured away by Central California farmers. Drip irrigation and other techniques are resisted.
Make farmers pay the going rate for water and they'll conserve.
the cynic in me wonders if this more about the need for full swimming pools, working fountains, green yards, etc in the Bay area than an endangered fish.
Though I also think public funds to irrigate when there is other non irrigated farm land available is a waste. Maybe somebody can do the economic analysis on this. Then there's the problem of political courage, which is in short supply.
I must mention the late Marc Reisner's book "Cadillac Desert" which covers water subsidy/policy in the American West, particularly California. An excellent read since it will absolutely infuriate rational readers.
In a nutshell California was taken over by the left beginning in the 60's it wasn't a sudden coup but a series of wins by the radicals and pushing out the moderates when they stuck their heads up like a Whack-A-Mole game. Now California is reaping some of what it sowed over those years of pandering to special interests to vote in more and more radical left wing politicians. California has flushed it's water out to sea to save the species de jour. It has stopped one water storage project after another for fear of some snail or bird being offended. California farmers do not have the ear of California's legislators in the same way that the Sierra Club or La Raza does. California has/had the GDP of a large European country and farming is the backbone of that enormous amount of capital. This is the Left's "chickens" coming home to roost. There will be a huge loss of revenue to the state because of this. It will be interesting to see how it plays out and who the Democrats blame vs who the voters blame. Sadly I do think California is lost. It was taken over long ago by the eco-wingnuts and illegal aliens. The big question is will the federal government (AKA the taxpayers) bail them out or let them go belly up.
There have been some comments that the "wrong people" own too much farmland in Cali - when they are driven out, the right people will be able to step in and buy cheap, at which time all the environmental regs will be repealed or ignored.