In the ongoing battle for water and rights, a group of farmers in the San Joaquin Valley have filed a suit against the state of California.
The drought has been agitated and made worse by decisions created by state official’s choices. Therefore, the suit was filed by the Friant Water Authority – a group of about 15,000 farmers – to address these poor resolutions by the state.
Government not helping
The problem is the state has decided that a wildlife refuge north of Los Banos (and others) was more important than the welfare and legal rights of California citizens including growers. The farmer’s rights were denied when the state allowed water for the bird refuge while denying delivery of water to growers. Law states the farmers have higher precedence over wildlife and thus the water should have been delivered to the small towns along with growers in the area.
As a whole, the Golden State is semi-arid and thus has built dams and water project throughout California to cope with a lack of water, especially during dry years. The issue has risen and been compounded because state and federal officials have been using water to help a baitfish and salmon deal with their less than desirable conditions. However, that has led to huge amounts of water being allotted for wildlife while denying Californians water.
Causing a man-made disaster, the federal government pushed by environmentalists, allowed water to be diverted towards the ocean so the Delta Smelt would have the correct amount of water to exist. That’s on top of the fact that farmers weren’t allowed to use their own channels because the smelt had worked its way into the farmers waterways. Another reprehensible action by the state was denying farmers the water that was already purchased.
With an iffy weather report for this coming winter, the drought will continue to be front-and-center with the government pitted against its citizens.
The suit by the Friant Water Authority can’t help what has already transpired, but it can negate and/or facilitate future water right’s situations should they arise again.