California is in a severe drought as the rainy season never came this year. With seventeen towns in the state in such dire straits that they may run out of water within two months, emergency measures are being taken to avoid drought ghost towns.
The House of Representatives is considering action to help deal with this emergency by considering a measure that would provide for alternative ways of protecting the Delta smelt – a fish that a federal Court has ruled must be protected even at the cost of the state’s vast food production capacity.
Even without the current crisis, California already faced a “government-imposed dust bowl” due to Endangered Species Act requirements that fresh water be flushed out to sea in an unproven hope that this would help save the endangered Delta smelt. This diversion of what long-time Californian’s consider their most precious resource has already choked large portions of the state’s agricultural salad bowl.
Now, with the drought worsening and snow packs in the Sierra Nevada range at critically low levels, it is time to put partisan wrangling aside and pass legislation that stops the waste of water while still protecting the fish.
Insignificant trash fish, or humans? Seems an easy choice to me, but then I’m not a human-hating eco-green watermelon.