In Spite Of Severe Drought, California Dumps Billions of Gallons of Water for Endangered Minnow


“We’re now in the fourth year of the worst drought in the history of California,” states Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., who is frantically working to end the federal and state policies which prioritizes fish over people ahead of another major water release already scheduled.

“Yet, Brown and the environmental left continue to release what little water remains behind our dams, not for essential human consumption but rather to adjust the water temperatures in the rivers so the fish are happy,” McClintock continued. “The Federal Bureau of Reclamation has ordered another pulse flow,” he said. “These are massive releases of water, billions of gallons of water. If this order is allowed to stand, they will drain several of our major reservoirs before the end of the summer for the fish, which means there will be no water left for the human population.”

In an open display of lunacy and detachment from reality, the leftist will blame global warming for drying up of mountain water but at the same time refuse to build more dams in the face of a sharp increase in population. Then impose strict water restrictions on the populace while it releases water from the dams they oppose…..for fish.

“Mainly, we’re talking about a three-inch minnow called the delta smelt,” he said. “In the case of the new orders, it involves steelhead trout. In most of these cases, the principal cause for the decline in the populations has nothing to do with our water projects. It has to do with non-native predator fish that were introduced into our streams and rivers by the government years ago.”

According to Reason magazine science correspondent Ronald Bailey, 50 percent of water in the reservoirs goes to the rivers and streams. And he said the vast majority of the remaining water goes to the farmers. Yet, he said the restrictions are all aimed at the people using 10 percent of the resources. He also said enforcing the restrictions requires a nanny state nightmare.

“What will happen is that they’re going to have to have a whole elaborate enforcement procedure, with people spying on their neighbors and reporting and so forth. It’s a clunky, stupid system to do it,” Bailey said.

McClintock thinks Brown has a lot of nerve imposing the restrictions.

“It’s going to be very hard for him to summon any kind of moral authority to fine people $500 if they waste a gallon of water on their lawn or sidewalk and yet have no problems wasting millions of gallons of water in the pursuit of making the fish perfectly happy,” he said.

The congressman stresses this mess is a result of federal and state policies. He said the House of Representatives is trying to restore sanity to the law, but it is racing against the clock.

“I’m very confident that we will pass that bill out of the House this year, but it will not be in time to prevent the releases that could literally drain to empty reservoirs that are now in California before we even get to the next rainy season,” he said.

Within six months, McClintock said, misguided government policies could mean the end of some towns in his state.

“Copperopolis, a community of about 10,000 in the Sierra Nevada, will simply be without water because the water we had been storing behind our dams had been released during this period for the fish,” he said. “It means that when people turn on their water faucets, no water comes out. It means entire communities dry up and blow away. These are communities of a long-neglected species, called homo sapiens.”

In addition to putting a halt on pulse flows, McClintock said the federal government needs to make other obvious changes to the laws.

“The House has acted several times now to modify those laws, to ensure that there’s an equitable distribution of water and that we approach the Endangered Species Act (ESA) requirements with a little more common sense,” he said.

“For example, why shouldn’t we be meeting these requirements (on fish numbers) by building fish hatcheries? Right now, the hatchery fish are not allowed to be included in the population counts,” he said.

But could the free market solve the problem more efficiently than changing federal laws?

Bailey thinks so.

“Giving secure property rights to water to people would be the first step toward implementing markets,” said Bailey, who believes water is badly under-priced in California, and giving farmers more options for their water could benefit everyone.

“What I would do is give free and clear title to the water to the farmers,” Bailey said. “Then they can decide if they want to farm or if they want to sell the water. My bet is that the price would be sufficiently high that a whole bunch of farmers will say, ‘You know what? I don’t need to raise any rice this year. I’m going to sell my water to San Francisco or Los Angeles.’”

McClintock said that approach fails to take the dire situation of farmers into consideration.

“The problem with that is we’ve already lost about a half-a-million acres of the most fertile farmland in America because of these regulations, compounded by the drought,” he said. “When you turn off the water to an almond orchard, for example, that’s not a one-year deal. Those trees die, and it takes many, many years to regrow them so they’re once again bearings nuts and fruit.”

While California’s water crisis is a perfect storm of a major drought and what he considers extreme California environmental policies, McClintock said the U.S. government is a major player in this, and that means the rest of America is not immune.

“This can come to any community in America at some time in the near future,” he said. “If there’s an ESA biological opinion requiring the release of this water, what that means is fish come first and people can fend for themselves.”

Can Trump help? From Breitbart:

President-elect Donald Trump has stated his commitment to helping California’s farmers attain more water, as the Golden State prepares to enter its historic sixth year of a crippling drought, with a federal water policy in place that favors fish over agriculture.
However, the authority of California’s state agencies over the allocation of its water supply — which includes the federal Central Valley Project — remains a staggering obstacle the nation’s 45th president must confront. Particularly, as the Sacramento Bee points out, when it comes to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which is where the endangered Delta smelt primarily reside.

Over a year ago, Fresno County farmer Wayne Western Jr. penned a letter to Trump pleading for help. His farm, like many others in his situation, could go out of business if nothing is done to address the water situation. According to the Bee, Trump replied with a handwritten pledge, writing: “Got it — crazy. If I win, it will be corrected quickly.”

During a trip to Fresno last May, Trump referred to the nearly extinct Delta smelt — which are receiving priority over human beings — criticizing the state’s “water allocation rules that take into account the needs of ‘a certain kind of 3-inch fish,’” the Bee writes.
Trump also raised money from farmers in the Central Valley — a record $1.3 million in August — partly by addressing the water issue.
Trump’s biggest obstacle with regard to the bottlenecks and blocks that have prevented water from going to farmerss in parts of the Golden State that are hardest hit will be tackling the state-run agency known as the State Water Resources Control Board and its four board members.
Source:, Breitbart
Photo: Keep California Farming



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