From Time Magazine - Friday, May 25, 2012
Coalition response... The author should be complimented for one observation in this opinion piece: his question about what changes in water availability and water use could mean for our ability to feed ourselves. Beyond that, there are numerous errors and misconceptions that could leave the reader with a false impression about food production in California.
First off, he says he driving through the "northern reaches of California's Central Valley...and sees fruit and vegetable production to the left and right of Highway 101." Highway 101 doesn't run through the Central Valley. That was the Salinas Valley. Or he wasn't on Highway 101. Second, he discusses that "sprawling network" is fed, in part, by the Colorado River. Also incorrect. No Colorado River water irrigates the Salinas Valley. Or the Central Valley for that matter either.
Later he claims that Lake Mead, on the Colorado River, was "barely half full at the end of April." Also incorrect. The lake level on April 30 was 1,124 feet (above sea level) compared to a maximum level of 1,229 feet, according to the Bureau of Reclamation, which manages Lake Mead. In comparison, the lowest level of the lake was when it was filling in 1935 was an elevation of 701 feet above sea level; 423 feet lower than it was on April 30 of this year when it was down 105 feet from its maximum capacity.
The author's criticisms of groundwater overdraft in the Central Valley were not accompanied by any explanation that environmental restrictions on surface supplies have exacerbated the problem of groundwater overdraft. And his claim that farms routinely waste water ignore the fact that farmers in the Central Valley have invested more than $2 billion in upgraded irrigation systems on 1.8 million acres since 2003. Farm production in California almost doubled between 1967 and 2000 using essentially the same amount of water, in part due to increases in water use efficiency.
Understanding how farmers use water to produce safe, affordable and locally grown food takes more than a drive through the Central (or Salinas) Valley. Readers are encouraged to seek facts about farm production from reputable sources.
From Sacramento Business Journal - Thursday, May 31, 2012
From ACWA - Thursday, May 31, 2012
By Jeff Michael
From Valley Economy - Thursday, May 31, 2012
By Michael Campana
From Water Wired - Thursday, May 31, 2012
From Sacramento Bee - Thursday, May 31, 2012
From Fresno Bee - Thursday, May 31, 2012
From KCRA - Thursday, May 31, 2012
From KTVU - Thursday, May 31, 2012
From Desert Sun - Friday, June 1, 2012
From Eureka Times-Standard - Thursday, May 31, 2012
From Ukiah Daily Journal - Thursday, May 31, 2012