What is the difference between a farmer who grows avocados or citrus in San Diego County and rice or cotton farmer in the San Joaquin or Imperial Valleys?
Answer: according to the state government of Governor Jerry Brown, a San Diego farmer is NOT actually a farmer, and therefore is not worthy of consideration when it comes to cutting our state’s most precious resource: water.
Although Governor Brown in his executive order several weeks ago cutting state consumption by 25% stressed that he didn’t want to hurt farmers, the bureaucratic drones tasked with carrying out his edict came up with a solution that Brown either doesn’t know about, or knows about and doesn’t care.
When the staff at Valley Center Municipal Water District and other water districts in North County inquired about the governor’s executive order that all users—except farmers—cut 25% of their usage, they were shocked to realize that the State’s Water Resources Control Board considers most farmers in San Diego County the equivalent of ornamental landscape users, i.e. on the same plane as commercial or residential users.
They look at an avocado ranch on ten acres and see a “hobby farm,” rather than the money-making operation that contributes to San Diego County’s multi-billion dollar agricultural economy.
For those of us who remember Brown’s first two terms in office in the 1970s, he richly deserved the sobriquet that many crowned him with: Governor Moonbeam. Today, he has a whole lot less hair than he did, but that extra sunlight illuminating his pate hasn’t penetrated very far inside. Brown is the least idiotic Democratic governor in the fifty states, but, because he is totally in the pocket of the environmental lobby, he is completely willing to sell the residents of this state, and especially the farmers of San Diego County, down the delta. The fate of an allegedly endangered species, the “delta smelt” is more important in this scheme of things than millions of residents, including those who rely on farming for their livelihood.
It is the dirty little secret of most influential environmentalists that they hate farming. They especially hate the big combine farms of the Central Valley, which were granted millions of acre-feet “by right” at the beginning of the last century. They can’t do anything about that, except to starve all the state of water by refusing to countenance the building of new reservoirs for storage. It has been estimated that half of the water in the state is unavailable for use to residents because it has been withheld for environmental reasons. Much of it pours into the Pacific Ocean.
To compare: The Colorado River, which provides some water to this area, has over the years built 40 million-acre feet of storage. The Sacramento Delta and the State Water Project, while much larger than the Colorado River, has only built 10 million acre-feet of storage.
The solution environmentalists espouse is always “consume less.” It is never “produce more.” So, far example, they did everything they could to keep the desalination plant to be built in Carlsbad. If they were put in charge of ending hunger in the world their solution would not be “grow more food,” or “distribute the food more efficiently,” it would be “eat less.”
Most people don’t think this way, even in the most liberal state in the union. But most voters don’t think about this issue enough to be able to influence the lawmakers who represent them. Whereas the lobbyists representing the Sierra Club and other anti-human coalitions collect millions of dollars from their members and spend it lavishly on political donations.
The average voter might make jokes about how we don’t have enough water “because of some little fish,” but he or she doesn’t think about such things until it impacts his life. Only then, when he is forced to take navy showers does his dander rise. By then, of course, it’s too late.
When I first read the press release that the five cities along the Hwy 78 corridor were banding together to form Innovate 78, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the wonderful “Demotivators” posters, and my favorite: “None of us is as dumb as all of us.”
Despite my tendency to be cynical about things like this, the more I hear about Innovate78 the more I think that it might actually be a good idea. What a concept! Government banding together to promote local business, instead of doing its best to hog tie enterprise.
Innovate78 recognizes the special nature of North County. I’m one of those radicals who believe that North County ought to be its own county. People in Escondido, Vista or San Marcos have almost nothing in common with San Diegans and it is almost criminal that three of the five county supervisors who control the lives and property of North County represent metropolitan San Diego rather than the rural communities.
Under its current city council and mayor, Escondido is a beacon of pro-business sentiment. Apparently that kind of attitude is contagious since Innovate78 would seem to suggest that there are five cities in North County who think that the business of government is to promote business.
Get to it!