Public Comment

New: California’s Drought

Tejinder Uberoi
Monday April 06, 2015 - 04:19:00 PM

Governor Brown’s executive order imposing mandatory water use reductions of 25 percent on California’s cities and towns is certainly a step in the right direction. But why has California’s giant agriculture industry, which accounts for 80 percent of the state’s water use, been given a free pass? There is little incentive for California’s agricultural farmers to conserve and make the hard choices eliminating water intensive crops such as alfalfa and rice in favor of water sustainable crops. Almonds use about 10% of California’s water and alfalfa about 12%. Almonds are an export cash crop funded by ‘eastern banks’ at high profit margins but contribute little to the local economy. Each almond requires about 1 gallon of water. 

Farmers should be encouraged to phase out these water intensive crops with assistance from the state and federal government. Fracking, which uses enormous quantities of water and is extremely hazardless to the environment and may trigger seismic activity – should be banned. 

Finally, the multi-billion boondoggle high-speed rail should be abandoned in favor of a building a freshwater pipeline from Oregon to California.