Stop the water profiteers

It’s time to adopt a sustainable approach to using this limited resource

The author states he is “a San Francisco-born California native, artist and advocate for change through awareness, with great respect and appreciation for Mother Earth and all our relations.”

There is at present a pressing matter concerning water-right allocations, surface-water sales, and local groundwater transfers.

I quote from the AquAlliance website: “The Bureau of Reclamation’s Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the 2013 Water Transfer Program reveals plans to export 190,906 acre-feet of Central Valley Project and State Water Project river water to buyers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. To replace the river water sold to desert agriculture operations on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley (with low-priority water rights), the plan would permit Sacramento Valley surface-water-right holders to substitute all of the river water with groundwater to continue agriculture production here.”

Sacramento Valley surface-water-right holders represent a small percentage of the population, and those water rights are in place to accommodate their local agricultural use. The very concept that they manipulate those water rights to create a “water for sale” business for profit is contrary to the well-being of the majority of the population and the environment.

The concept that “farmers” south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are planting crops that are reliant on water imports tells me these are not farmers at all, but business speculators, as farmers would not plant orchards in a desert lacking sustainable water.

The Sacramento-San Joaquin valleys were once abundant, rich farmlands, but business speculators saw “opportunity” and sacrificed much of those lush farmlands to urban sprawl. A new plan is shipping water south to a desert region to replace those lost farmlands.

Short-sighted, unsustainable, quick-profit business ventures fail to see the long-term effects of their actions. Clean water is becoming less available because of the lack of sustainable-use consciousness. The clear-cutting devastation of our forests creates loss of watersheds, and contamination, and voluminous usage of water in fracking and mining operations continues the unsustainable use of limited water resources.

This Water Transfer Project will set a precedent for water-for-sale business ventures that will bring short-term profits with long-term consequences. It is time for us to adapt a more conscious long-range approach to the use of this limited resource. It is time to realize that for far too long we have prioritized business interests and job creation over the welfare and well-being of people and the environment.