Friday, April 03, 2015

Water Restrictions Likely In Humboldt

The Times- Standard reports water restrictions are still likely in the county despite us having a surplus. This the result of Governor Brown's one- size- fits- all reaction to the drought. You really have to wonder what he and the rest are thinking, although I suppose since we're "up by San Francisco..." what applies to San Francisco applies to us. That's to be expected.
What really gets my goat is the finger pointing over the water shortages. I hear time and again it's all agriculture's fault. A letter to the editor of the Times- Standard today tells us yet again.

Yep, maybe agriculture should take a bigger hit, although my understanding is they already have, especially the smaller farms. But to suggest agriculture is the bad guy? As Victor Hanson pointed out in his City Journal piece today:

"It’s now popular to deride California agriculture in cost-benefit terms, given that its share of state GNP (anywhere from 4 percent to 8 percent, depending on how one counts related industries) supposedly does not justify its huge allotted consumption of state water (anywhere from 65 percent to 80 percent). But note the irony: California supplies a staggering percentage of the nation’s fresh vegetables and fruits; it’s among the most efficient producers in the world of beef, dairy, and staple crops. One can purchase an iPhone 6 or a neat new Apple watch, but he still must eat old-fashioned, pre-tech food. There are no calories in Facebook, and even Google can’t supply protein. On the other hand, I can live without an iPad. Who is to say which industry is essential and which isn’t? Insulin and antibiotic production constitute a micro-percentage of GDP, but is their water usage less important than Twitter’s? Is a biologist who studies bait-fish populations in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta really more important than a master tractor driver whose skill gives broccoli to thousands?"

I suppose he's doing some finger pointing himself, but I agree that agriculture is something we need, not a luxury. And how do you decide which industry is more important than another one and deserves more water?

The guy over at The People's Republic looks at the possible demise of California's pool industry. Good point, but water affects just about any of us. I'd suggest to him that the lawn maintenance industry employs many more people than pools, yet there are calls across the state for lawns to be replaced with something that doesn't use water.

I'm not saying any industry get preference. Some industries could collapse, depending how long the drought lasts. Pointing fingers and trying to attack other industries isn't going to help anything. Tough decisions will need to be made.


At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

California taxpayers subsidize agricultural irrigation and it's primarily the rest of the country that benefits with abnormally low cost fruits and vegetables.

How about we stop subsidizing agriculture and let people pay what it really costs to produce food?

If growers are going to take the lion share of taxpayer water and make taxpayers ration their dramatically smaller water usage, growers sure as hell should be paying market prices for taxpayer water.

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It so the folks in Southern California can continue to fill up their swimming pools and over water their lawns...

At 10:20 AM, Blogger Eugene said...

Hi Fred. One cause of the water shortage is increased demand because of population growth. If my right to move my fist ends short of my neighbor's nose, what right do I have to add population when there are already shortages. Won't my child, in effect, be taking water or food from someone else? Just asking.

At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

in reply to the remark about southern california, they are paying heavily and reducing water usage by much more than the governor has asked. There are big efforts to do more reductions, they are paying big money for desal in a few places too.

Ag users and socal water users are wondering if MJ growers are cutting back as well.


At 2:22 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Yep. Southern California has been working on water for some time. They'll never have enough, but you have to give them credit where it's due.

At 7:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The LA area wouldn't exist as it does today if it hadn't been either out right stealing other folks' water or getting their political cronies to pass outrageous water laws. And in past low rain years its been Northern California who have had to do water conservation while South California continued with their water demands for pools, green lawns, etc.. I've been hearing about plans to build desalination plants in Southern California for at least four decades and they haven't done it yet. Southern California has only ever paid lip service to water conservation!

At 7:40 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Actually, SoCal has a desalination plant almost finished in Carlsbad. I'm not sure but it might be online this year.

There was also one planned for Huntington Beach. Not sure whether it's been started or not. Environmentalists getting in the way of that one.

I believe the dsal plant near Monterrey has been operational and they're starting it up again. I know they're considering starting it up. Not sure if it was ever up and running before.

Costs and the environmentalists are the main things holding up the dsal plants. But, even when they're up and running they'll only provide a small portion of the water needed. I believe the Carlsbad project- the largest in the nation- will only provide 7% of the water needed in the service area, and at twice the current cost of water.

At 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether or not the plants are finished or up and running I agree with the previous poster about how we in NorCal have for decades been saving water while SoCal just wasted it on pools, lawns, etc.. Without our water they'd still be a desert...

At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget about all those golf courses in California that suck gallons and gallons of water for the elitist golfers who could give a rat's ass about conservation of water. I say Eat The Rich!!


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