Badlands Journal editorial board
To us, this story of an adjudicated water settlement between Consolidated Irrigation District and the City of Selma was the most important of the day in the Valley news. Perhaps this is because it represents our near future here in Merced County, which still has a relatively decent water table. However, the treat of more deep ripped pastureland converted into orchards with gigantic pumps that tend to dry up their neighbors' wells by firms whose investment strategies might not be primarily to make a profit in agriculture; they may prefer the losses customized for the portfolios of investors that wouldn't know the difference between an almond tree and an apple tree.
Perhaps the greatest threat to groundwater in the Valley are the imperious, unregulated demands of Private Investment Itself, the Holy of Holies to planners, local elected officials and the local landowners and banks who own them in our brave new plutocracy. It is always going to produce jobs...and if it does, they don't last. Politicians parrot the Building Industy Association line that houses take less water per acre than crops, a corollary of their their fundamental argument that residential growth is inevitable. They consider this either good or Fate. It is curious that many of this churchy crowd as local elected officials believe in pagan Fate. Or is it really the Will of God that the entire Valley be sucked dry until the last carpenter dies of thirst in the tumbleweed?
Badlands Journal editorial board Read More »