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A Tale of Two Drought, ca
Townhall.com ^ | February 6, 2014 | Victor Davis Hanson

Posted on 02/06/2014 2:41:34 AM PST by Kaslin

Despite recent sporadic rain, California is still in the worst extended drought in its brief recorded history. If more storms do not arrive, the old canard that California could withstand two droughts -- but never three -- will be tested for the first time in memory.

There is little snow in the state's towering Sierra Nevada mountains, the source of much of the surface water that supplies the state's populated center and south. The vast Central Valley aquifer is being tapped as never before, as farms and municipalities deepen wells and boost pump size. Too many straws are now competing to suck out the last drops at the bottom of the collective glass.

The vast 4-million-acre farming belt along the west side of the Central Valley is slowly drying up. Unlike valley agriculture to the east that still has a viable aquifer, these huge farms depend entirely on surface water deliveries from the distant and usually wet northern part of the state. So if the drought continues, billions of dollars of Westside orchards and vineyards will die, row cropland will lay fallow, and farm-supported small towns will likewise dry up.

(Excerpt) Read more at townhall.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
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1 posted on 02/06/2014 2:41:34 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

1 Maybe now they will stop dumping millions of acre feet for the Delta Smelt

2 living in Sacramento I never understood why they were growing Rice in what amounted to desert. It’s a very low profit crop, requires tons of water. Almonds, yes, avocados, yes, even tomatoes. But Rice? That’s what Louisiana is for....


2 posted on 02/06/2014 3:49:40 AM PST by Kozak ("Send them back your fierce defiance! Stamp upon the cursed alliance! To arms, to arms in Dixie!)
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To: Kozak

They grow some very good rice, but yes, it’s crazy.


3 posted on 02/06/2014 4:14:53 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: Kozak

I’ve no idea if this is their motive, but California suffers the loss of vast amounts of farmland due to irrigation salination. The land becomes too salty to farm.

The way to desalinate land is to flood it with water for a long period of time, eventually flushing the salt down below root level. And because rice has such a shallow root system, you might be able to both purge the salt and get a crop as well.

Importantly, rice fields are flooded less for the rice than to abate weeds, which are drowned, while the rice survives. If you have herbicide, it is far cheaper to use than flooding, when water is scarce. That is, unless you want to grow “organic” rice.


4 posted on 02/06/2014 6:40:34 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy (WoT News: Rantburg.com)
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To: Kaslin

A long time ago, a geologist noted that California has had numerous droughts, lasting from 100-300 years.

This being said, California could easily desalinate seawater, but they don’t want to, because their eco-nuts claim that changing the salinity of the water would confuse sea animals. These folks are fairly brain dead.


5 posted on 02/06/2014 6:43:16 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy (WoT News: Rantburg.com)
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