Restore the Delta
10100 Trinity Pkwy, Suite 120
Stockton, CA 95219
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Jane Wagner-Tyack Phone:209-642-5105
Deirdre Des Jardins
NEW PAPER BY CALIFORNIA WATER RESEARCH ASSOCIATES AND RESTORE THE DELTA SHOWS THAT SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY LAND FALLOWING AND JOB LOSSES ARE TIED TO SOIL AND GROUNDWATER QUALITY – NOT PROTECTION FOR DELTA FISHERIES.
Stockton, California – California Water Research Associates of Santa Cruz and Restore the Delta of Stockton have released a new paper calling into question the real causes of fallowed farm acreage on the Westside of the San Joaquin Valley.
According to Restore the Delta senior policy analyst Jane Wagner-Tyack, “Reduced water deliveries to the San Joaquin Valley growers are not the primary cause behind fallowed fields. In fact, the majority of San Joaquin Valley lands fallowed starting in 2003 are still fallowed presently, despite west side valley growers receiving 85% of their 2011 water deliveries.”
The report, entitled Mendota: Evidence that soil and groundwater salinization is the predominant cause of land fallowing, concludes that land and groundwater salinity must be taken into account when one looks at how to ameliorate the effects of long term agricultural unemployment in San Joaquin Valley. Click here to read the report.
Senior researcher Deirdre Des Jardins, of Santa Cruz based California Water Research Associates adds, “Mapping imagery points toward soil and groundwater salinity as the primary cause of land fallowing near Mendota. This evidence, along with record of previous legal settlements, indicates that high levels of unemployment in the Mendota area are more likely the result of land fallowing that occurred prior to the most recent drought than any type of protections set in place for Delta fisheries.”
Restore the Delta’s Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla explains, “Congressman Devin Nunes’s hearing today for his proposed legislation, HR1837, continues the false narrative of how Delta protections have been the major cause behind San Joaquin Valley unemployment. Job losses in the San Joaquin Valley can be attributed to the crash in the housing market, as well as to the removal of lands from agricultural production that cannot be sustained due to drainage problems.”
Exporting more and more water from the Delta as proposed in HR 1837 will not solve the drainage problem or the employment problem for the San Joaquin Valley. But exporting more and more water will destroy Delta agriculture and Delta fisheries, thereby creating greater unemployment overall in California.
Contributors are available for interviews.