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.

August 20, 2018
Carl Boggs
The Road to Disaster?
James Munson
“Not With a Bomb, But a Whimper” … Then More Bombs.
Jonathan Cook
Corbyn’s Labour Party is Being Made to Fail –By Design
Robert Fisk
A US Trade War With Turkey Over a Pastor? Don’t Believe It
Howard Lisnoff
The Mass Media’s Outrage at Trump: Why the Surprise?
Faisal Khan
A British Muslim’s Perspective on the Burkha Debate
Andrew Kahn
Inhumanity Above the Clouds
Dan Glazebrook
Trump’s New Financial War on the Global South
George Wuerthner
Why the Gallatin Range Deserves Protection
Ted Rall
Is Trump a Brand-New Weird Existential Threat? No.
Sheldon Richman
For the Love of Reason
Susie Day
Why Pundits Scare Me
Dean Baker
Does France’s Economy Need to Be Renewed?
Weekend Edition
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Daniel Wolff
The Aretha Dialogue
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump and the Rise of Patriotism 
Joseph Natoli
First Amendment Rights and the Court of Popular Opinion
Andrew Levine
Midterms 2018: What’s There to Hope For?
Robert Hunziker
Hothouse Earth
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Running Out of Fools
Ajamu Baraka
Opposing Bipartisan Warmongering is Defending Human Rights of the Poor and Working Class
Paul Street
Corporate Media: the Enemy of the People
David Macaray
Trump and the Sex Tape
CJ Hopkins
Where Have All the Nazis Gone?
Daniel Falcone
The Future of NATO: an Interview With Richard Falk
Cesar Chelala
The Historic Responsibility of the Catholic Church
Ron Jacobs
The Barbarism of US Immigration Policy
Kenneth Surin
In Shanghai
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
The Military Option Against Venezuela in the “Year of the Americas”
Nancy Kurshan
The Whole World Was Watching: Chicago ’68, Revisited
Robert Fantina
Yemeni and Palestinian Children
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Orcas and Other-Than-Human Grief
Shoshana Fine – Thomas Lindemann
Migrants Deaths: European Democracies and the Right to Not Protect?
Paul Edwards
Totally Irrusianal
Thomas Knapp
Murphy’s Law: Big Tech Must Serve as Censorship Subcontractors
Mark Ashwill
More Demons Unleashed After Fulbright University Vietnam Official Drops Rhetorical Bombshells
Ralph Nader
Going Fundamental Eludes Congressional Progressives
Hans-Armin Ohlmann
My Longest Day: How World War II Ended for My Family
Matthew Funke
The Nordic Countries Aren’t Socialist
Daniel Warner
Tiger Woods, Donald Trump and Crime and Punishment
Dave Lindorff
Mainstream Media Hypocrisy on Display
Jeff Cohen
Democrats Gather in Chicago: Elite Party or Party of the People?
Victor Grossman
Stand Up With New Hope in Germany?
Christopher Brauchli
A Family Affair
Jill Richardson
Profiting From Poison
Patrick Bobilin
Moving the Margins
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail