In this situation, I can’t really blame Jim Costa, he’s under immense pressure from his constituents to get more water to the Valley. Yet, that doesn’t make this any less morally or scientifically wrong:
Once the meeting began, Rep. Jim Costa of Fresno got the first opportunity to speak as a witness before the panel. Costa, a conservative Democrat, told the panel the fish protections have harmed his constituents and are based on “flawed science.”
“The social and economic devastation has been real, and awful,” Costa said.(SacBee)
The economic devestation predates the current drought by well over twenty years. The Central Valley has been economically devestated for years. The fact is that what was built in the Central Valley was always unsustainable. We can only pump so much groundwater, build so much storage, and divert so much water from the Delta before we have to look at what we are doing there. For most of recent geologic history, the Central Valley was a near desert, becoming arable in big rain years only. Yet, we built
This is not to say that the land cannot be used productively. It’s just that we need to thoroughly examine what is being grown where and attempt to create a land management system that allows farmers and labor in the Central Valley to thrive without destroying the environment at the same time. This is possible, and in theory, it is part of the task of the Delta environmental review that kicked off yesterday.
Now, given how the water legislation came about, wildlife advocates and other environmentalists have a reason to be skeptical. But, the review will be worth keeping an eye on as it proceeds further.