Two articles of interest regarding Westlands, the drought and the tunnels–articles that Restore the Delta helped work on.
California’s Thirsty Almonds
How the water-intensive crop is helping drive the governor’s $25 billion plan to ship water to the desert.
By Joaquin Palomino @JoaquinPalomino East Bay Express 2/5/14
â€¦But many environmentalists have little sympathy for the Westlands almond growers. They note that if farmers hadn’t zealously planted water-intensive crops in the desert, they wouldn’t be in such a tight bind. “One of my associates referred to it as the ‘Westlands death march,'” said Tom Stokely, a longtime water activist and member of the environmental group California Water Impact Network. “While Westlands is pursuing water and growing crops, in the long run it can’t be sustained.”
â€¦”When Westlands came online it was understood that it would grow things like lettuce and tomatoes,” said Barrigan-Parilla. “They changed their business model, and these are the consequences, because the water isn’t there anymore.”
California Water Officials Made the Drought Worse
There’s strong evidence that the state shipped extra water in 2013 â€” enough for about four million people â€” despite the threat of a third year of little to no rain.
By Robert Gammon @RobertGammon East Bay Express 2/5/14
â€¦ As an apparent consequence of this move, and because of a record-dry winter this year, Shasta, Oroville, and Folsom now sit at dangerously low levels. Shasta and Oroville are both at 54 percent of average and Folsom is at 34 percent of average (and just 17 percent of capacity), according to a report last weekend by environmental journalist Dan Bacher. “They went ahead and exported the 800,000 acre-feet of water and brazenly rolled the dice with Nature,” Bill Jennings, executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, told me. “And Nature won.”