So, How Are We Doing?
And, while all this isn't going on, our legislators in Sacramento continue to sit in their think-tanks trying to find ways to make it even more difficult to farm.
Aug 30, 2012
As the 2012 Presidential campaign continues in its second year (or third, or fourth, we can't remember) it's difficult for voices to be heard above all the election noise like the economy, the debt, the deficit, unemployment, record number of people on foodstamps, fast and furious, the leaks, the drones, Obamacare, the stimulus, the quantative easing, gas prices...did we leave anything out? Probably.
Meanwhile, back here on the farm, we are left to assess how we're doing in California when it comes to solving our water and farm-related problems. If you've been able to pay any attention at all to the water debate, you've seen the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) where a 35-mile-long tunnel is being proposed to be built under the Delta to help solve the water delivery/delta ecosystem problems. If all goes according to plan, it will be discussed, disected, environmentally microscoped, judged in court, and if it gets through all that in about five years construction could begin. Then it will take another ten years to build. So, we've got that going for us.
Meanwhile, the Water Bond that was scheduled for 2010 was postponed until 2012 and again until 2014. We are entering a year where we desperately need rain and snow. Nothing in the measures thus far mentioned contain anything for storage. If it does rain a lot this year we still won't have any more room to store it than we did in 2010 when the water bond was drafted. Nothing proposed guarantees any more storage. If it doesn't rain we are in for 10% or 20% or 30% or 40% allocations and the Congressionally Created Drought will be back.
And, while all this isn't going on, our legislators in Sacramento continue to sit in their think-tanks trying to find ways to make it even more difficult to farm. They're trying to solve a farmworker drinking-water/shade problem that doesn't exist. They're fiddling with farm overtime rules that don't account for the unique aspects of farm work. They are toying with groundwater monitoring (after making sure farmers don't have surface water) with cost estimates ranging from $21 to $120 per acre. They are discussing higher water rates for water-intensive crops (as if farmers haven't already calculated how to best use the little water they have).
So, how are we doing? A lot of talk. More rules and regulations. Farm water solutions years, if not decades, away. We're doing great. How about you?
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