By Stephen Frank
The farmers of Fresno made a tough decision last year. They decided to “bank” some of their allotted water in the San Luis Reservoir to be used this year. That is difficult but good planning. What the farmers could not know is that the Federal government after allocating over 50% of farmers water to protect fairy shrimp, salmon and delta smelt, would now take the banked water as well.
If California was only going into a deep recession, this makes sure it is a deep Depression. Any wonder citizens have little trust or respect for government. The government takes your savings, whether it is money or water.
“The water currently in question includes about 340,000 acre-feet stored at San Luis Reservoir on behalf of west-side farmers, as well as a significantly smaller amount stored behind Friant Dam for farmers on the Valley’s east side. The water was provided through the federal Central Valley Project, a Redding-to-Bakersfield network of reservoirs, pumping plants and canals.
Some irrigation districts last year were able to meet their demands without fully tapping their CVP contracts. What they didn’t use, they had the federal Bureau of Reclamation store and carry over until this year. Usually, that’s not a problem. But over the last week or so, as federal officials have confronted the enormity of California’s drought, they have declined to rule out the possibility of taking the carried-over water for other, legally compelling purposes.”