It's been a problem in many areas for a long time, and continuing a enviroweenie tradition lack of water is now driving farmers off their land in the name of saving a friggin' smelt.
Last December, fresh restrictions meant to protect the fish were imposed, effectively shutting down the spigots and starving the Central Valley farmers of water.
Those in Fresno County saw their monthly allotments evaporate, virtually overnight. Here's how Mr. Allen recalls it: “When it came time to get my initial water allocation in January, we were told it would be zero. In February, my heart was pounding. Zero again. March, same thing. April, zero.” By that point, most of his crop of winter wheat had already withered and died.
And the enviroweenies are just so sensitive to your pain, of course, but:
“The farmers may be facing hardship, but so are the fishermen and the fish,” says Carolee Krieger, president of the California Water Impact Network, a lobby group based in Santa Barbara on the Pacific coast that fought for the restrictions.
If water pumping resumes in the Delta, more wildlife will be endangered, she argues. “The smelt is a bellwether and it's a very important marker for the health of the whole estuary.”
As for impact on humans, “it's really sad that there is unemployment, but we're all in an economic downturn,” she says, noting that stocks are so low, salmon fishing hasn't been allowed in California for nearly three years.
Translation: "Screw you nasty farmers, we think the smelt is more valuable."
And among the results of "Save the smelt no matter the price",
Mendota, population 10,000, was once famous as the “cantaloupe capital of the world.” Today, it is the jobless capital of America, with an unemployment rate of 41 per cent.
And, as usual when the enviroweenies are involved(or in California, in charge),
There is also talk of short-term solutions, such as diverting water from other areas to the San Joaquin Valley or rebuilding the pumps so they don't kill the fish.
Environmental groups still maintain that's not enough, and that any form of diversion is ultimately damaging and unsustainable.
Repeat: "Screw you farmers and people, we're worried about the smelt. And anything else we can claim as a reason to drive you out."