Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Arnold and the Manufactured Drought

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, in his relentless desire to destroy the imperiled California Delta and its ecosystem, yesterday used the manufactured “drought” as his excuse to push for his outrageously expensive $9.3 billion water bond.

Nowhere in his statement following the Department of Water Resources’ Drought Summit held Thursday in Sacramento did he mention the real reason for the current “drought” – the draining of Shasta, Folsom, Oroville and other California reservoirs over the past two years to serve the needs of subsidized corporate agribusiness on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

At the meeting, members of the Schwarzenegger Administration and federal and local water officials “discussed the current drought and ways to alleviate the effects of ongoing dry conditions,” according to the Governor’s office. The Department of Water Resources also announced the creation of the 2009 Drought Water Bank, which will purchase water from “willing sellers” and transfer it to water agencies that are at risk of experiencing water shortages next year due to drought conditions.

“California’s drought is impacting our economy, our agriculture and our families, and an end to these dry conditions is nowhere in sight,” Schwarzenegger said. “We are facing the potential for another dry year in 2009, which is why my Administration is actively planning for an ongoing drought and working to alleviate the effects of the state’s dry conditions. The Water Bank program will help by providing water to communities who need it most.”

Of course, Schwarzenegger’s idea of “providing water to communities” who need it most doesn’t include providing clean drinking water for residents of rural communities in the San Joaquin Valley whose wells are contaminated by pesticides, herbicides and toxic salts and metals resulting from unsustainable corporate agribusiness practices.

Then Schwarzenegger made his push for his “compromise” water bond proposal, an environmentally destructive plan that would build Temperance Flat and Sites reservoirs and lay the groundwork for the constructive of a peripheral canal to ship water around the Delta.

“While we are taking action to address the state’s drought situation, there remains an urgent need for Californians to step up conservation efforts and for the legislature to pass a comprehensive water plan that will ensure California has the water it needs to keep our economy strong and our people working,” Schwarzenegger stated.

On July 10, the Governor and Senator Dianne Feinstein proposed their controversial plan to the legislature to “update California’s water system,” claiming that “it would put the state on the path toward restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, expanding water supplies and promoting conservation efforts that will ensure a clean, reliable water supply for California.”

What Schwarzenegger failed to mention was that 80 to 85 percent of the water from federal and state projects goes to subsidized agribusiness – much of it to drainage impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley that should have never been irrigated because of the high concentration of selenium and other toxic salts and minerals found in the soil. Rather than continuing to subsidized the “Hydraulic Brotherhood” while destroying fertile delta farmland and the largest estuary on the West Coast by building a peripheral canal and more dams, Schwarzenegger and Feinstein should be doing everything they can to take drainage impaired land out of production.

In June, the Governor issued an executive order declaring a statewide drought, which directed his state agencies and departments to take immediate action to address the serious drought conditions and water delivery reductions that exist in California. He also proclaimed a “state of emergency” in nine Central Valley counties to address urgent water needs: Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern.

Since then Arnold “the Fish Terminator” Schwarzenegger, while slashing state employee salaries and eliminating 200,000 jobs as the state faces $15.2 billion budget deficit, has campaigned with “Diane the Dammer” Feinstein to indebt the state’s taxpayers with a $ 9.3 billion bond that will result in the destruction of the California Delta. California appears to be a live screen set for a really bad science fiction/horror movie starring Arnold, the “action hero,” and his sidekick, Diane Feinstein, who weave a path of economic and environmental destruction in a parallel universe devoid of logic, sanity and common sense.

Schwarzenegger and Feinstein’s push for dams and a peripheral canal occurs in the context of the collapse of Central Valley chinook salmon and delta smelt, longfin smelt, striped bass, threadfin shad and other California Delta fish populations. Massive increases in water exports from the California are undoubtedly the number one factor leading to the collapse of these once vibrant and healthy fish populations. The Feinstein/Schwarzenegger water bond boondoggle, by creating the infrastructure to export even more water out of the Delta by building a peripheral canal and more dams, would be the final nail in the coffin of the Delta ecosystem.

DAN BACHER can be reached at: Danielbacher@fishsniffer.com

 

Your Ad Here
 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Dan Bacher is an environmental journalist in Sacramento. He can be reached at: Dan Bacher danielbacher@fishsniffer.com.

Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
Victor Grossman
A Big Rally and a Bavarian Vote
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Wim Laven
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
David Yearsley
Shock-and-Awe Inside Oracle Arena
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail