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View Diary: God Damn It, This is Serious, Y'all! (217 comments)

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  •  Dead on (14+ / 0-)

    As someone who grew up in ID and practiced water law for years, you are correct about the russet being forced down our gullets.

    The reason that Idaho grows the best russets actually is a combination of very good soil, volcanic soil on the Snake Plain that had been dry and under huge sagebrush - made verdant by public water projects such as dams, canals and groundwater - coupled with very hot summer days and cool dry nights, Russets just love that.

    But as you point out, that "verdantness" is dependent upon irrigation.  The irrigation comes from resevoirs filled with snowpack and groundwater.  The groundwater is already taxed far too much and the aquifer is suffering - but even the aquifer could be easily "recharged" artificially, if there were sufficient snowpacks in the spring.  Of course, that is increasingly no longer the case.

    There is a saying in water law "Whisky is for drinking but water is for fighting" and I am sure that will be true well into the future.

    Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

    by 4CasandChlo on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 06:45:12 PM PST

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    •  Have you ever written about your experience with (6+ / 0-)

      water law here on DK? Given the outlook for the (not so distant) future we're going to be hearing alot about it.

      To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

      by ontheleftcoast on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 07:08:40 PM PST

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      •  I have not. (16+ / 0-)

        And maybe I should.  Perhaps it would be healthy.

        I haven't practiced in years, in part b/c I really burnt out.  Long story.

        But also in part b/c water-law is essentially a contradiction in terms.  In NYC, corporate law and tx are the high stakes death matches, in Idaho it is water and the money that flows from it.

        I represented very wealthy people and I didn't like it b/c I NEVER lost.

        Oh, I lost cases - but there was too much money on the line to have a "case" get in the way, so if we lost in court we would go to the Governor's office and the AG and try to get "special relief" from Administrative Agencies, if that proved too hard we would go to the legislature with the law we needed written and hand it to them.  The "sagebrush conservatives" hate government. . . except when its "their" government.

        Ultimately, we got what we needed until we ran up against someone with same/more money - and then we made mutually beneficial agreements OUTSIDE of government/laws.

        I made a lot of money and was miserable.  Ironically, I am currently unemployed, broke and miserable but not as miserable as I was - I have a wife/daughter/ (Cas and Chlo!) and dog. . . what more does anyone need.

        Maybe it would be therapeutic to write about what water law in the west is really like.  Its best encapsulated in the old adage that water runs toward money.

        And when you are the one taking it from others for your rich clients - its a pretty miserable existence.

        Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

        by 4CasandChlo on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 07:56:46 PM PST

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    •  Irrigation ultimately destroys your soil (3+ / 0-)

      unless you can collect and store enough rainwater.  Most groundwater isn't soft, and when you use it to irrigate long enough, salts build up, making the soil alkaline.

      So water may be for fighting over short-term, but it isn't a good long-term solution.  Not sustainable over time.

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