We lack water plan even in drought

Published: Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 - 7:10 am

Re "Agribusiness excess is reason California again running dry” (Viewpoints, Jan. 26): For decades farmers in the western San Joaquin Valley have expanded their need for water imported from the Sacramento Valley through a steady shift to crops that need to be watered year-round. They got away with it because of the political leverage they could exert in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. No one concerned with long-term water supplies could make a dent in their political armor. Now, as the state dries up, those same farmers are whining to their state and federal representatives that they are owed water as a matter of priority over municipal, environmental and Sacramento Valley needs. There was a time the state could have planned for this eventuality, but the whiners were never willing to fund the effort. The state had decades to build a sustainable water management system but it didn’t. Now, our dwindling water supply is going to manage us.

-- Tony St. Amant, Chico

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