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View Diary: House Republicans Attempt To Take Control Of California Water (261 comments)

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  •  But California feeds a the country for several (19+ / 0-)

    months when crops aren't growing in Florida or other parts of the country.

    My husband's a produce buyer. There's a season of the year when he has tons of trucks coming from California with produce bound for South Carolina.

    Or buying from South and Central America and hauling it even longer distances.

    I'm not saying we can keep feeding ourselves that way, either because of energy costs or that parts of California that grow produce aren't best suited to that, especially with mounting water issues.

    I'm just saying you'd probably be really surprised at how different your grocery store looked, if that produce wasn't there, or how much more expensive fresh produce became if you could get it.

    Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

    by teresahill on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:49:29 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  People used to spend (12+ / 0-)

      a good part of the Summer canning food for the Winter.

    •  That's all true (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, kurt, JuliathePoet

      But you can grow the same food crops with much less water.  If we publicly invested in water demand infrastructure the way we have in water supply infrastructure, the problem of water in California would become much less dire.  Of course, it's easier said than done, as with most issues involving water.

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 03:30:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A lot of that has been done and more can be (13+ / 0-)

        but it allows us to get by with less water, not no water.

        What's especially remarkable about this weather pattern, and the places that are most dire, is that we have the wet rainy north getting no precipitation. We're talking towns that have normal rainfall of more than 40 inches a year getting something like 5 inches.

        That's not unliveable, but it takes different infrastructure and different planning than what we've been doing.

        On the other hand, the southern San Joaquin Valley is trying to bully water out of their usual exporters from the north who have none to give. They are the ones driving this particular bit of politics.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 03:52:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If we lower average consumption, average storage (4+ / 0-)

          (in reservoirs and water table) will go up, and no rain will be a less pressing problem for a longer timeframe.  

          Obviously if Northern California and the Sierra turned into the Atacama we wouldn't be growing crops any longer.

          The politics on the bill which sparked this diary are entirely electoral, and mostly about saving Valadao and torpedoing Costa.  The bill isn't going to pass, it's an attempt to tar Central Valley Democrats as valuing "fish over people."  Of course, many of the farmers and more of the ag workers don't know that and may think they have a chance to get a trickle of water from the Delta.

          Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

          by benamery21 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 04:09:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  In our watershed, we just don't have storage (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kurt, Creosote

            that is meant to go more than maybe three seasons, and only then if it is managed just right. These same dams have to be managed both for drought and flood control, so if they think it will rain they have to leave empty capacity.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 04:31:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  my contribution to simple answers for simple peopl (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrmango, Creosote, JuliathePoet

          we are predicted to have 1" of rain around here this weekend.

          People are just starting to freak out about water issues, discussing water conservation and basic issues, this rain will probably flush all that away..

          Fish's diary last saturday was great including comments, just saw it, highly recommended as are the continual reportings by Dan Bacher such as this one

          This machine kills Fascists.

          by KenBee on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 04:37:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  frozen food. (0+ / 0-)

      seems like a reasonable option.

    •  There's always food growing (5+ / 0-)

      in Florida. South Texas too. Pretty much the entire south, and we usually get lots of rain. Lakes here in the southern Appalachian highlands are some years drawn down to feed the ag needs of South Carolina and Georgia, but most years they've got plenty of their own too.

      I'm in those highlands. It's early February and it was a danged cold January. My kale and collards and leeks are still going strong. There's still potatoes in the ground too for when I want 'em. Canned or dehydrated last year's bounty, including fruit. A lot of winter produce comes from Mexico and further south. We wouldn't go hungry if the Central Valley held itself to more suitable crops, including those that don't need constant cultivation or irrigation.

      •  In California, most don't can (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It's weird, but we have a culture out here that if it isn't in the store, they just blame someone and complain. We have a state full of whiners. But I agree with you on the canning. it is an old art. My wife has been doing it for years, and she learned it from my mom. Of course we were recycling long before the folks here got on the bandwagon and claimed it as their own. We grow in raised beds, use compost and no soil, use a drip system, and have plenty of produce. It takes patience and maintenance, something most here in California are not willing to do. Thus, we have a problem. We created out own monster out here.

        •  I used to can a lot (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          more than I do now, since I built myself a nifty solar dehydrator and discovered that means of preservation. Now I just bottle pickles, jams and chutneys, apple/pear butter, hot sauces and such. Everything else gets dried, including tomatoes. Powder it down, add water for sauce, mix with salt for table seasonings, mix with powdered onions, garlic, leeks, beets, celeriac, collards, etc. for broth bullions... keeps well basically forever and holds its soluble vitamins much better than canning. Even the greens. Just grab a fist full of dried kale when making a soup or stew, crunch it and throw it in. Very nice!

          Of course dry the grain and beans. Grow Indian corn, keep it whole dried for grinding when making tortillas and stuff. Onions in window boxes, working on a second year stand of hops... oh. And make some wind and hard cider. Because I can. §;o)

    •  yes... but taking the long view (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      obviously we can't change course in a season. My comment was more about long term thinking (or lack thereof). Every time I drive I-5 and all the accompanying political billboards about water, I wonder why so many water loving crops are planted in a "desert". I'm sure it is profitable when the water is shipped in... but that's exactly the problem.

      I shop the Saturday Farmer's Market in town every week - I get a much better sense of what is in season, what grows in California, and I feel good about handing my money directly to mostly small farmers. I learn about how aberrations in the weather affect them (whether it's too much or too little rain; rain, heat or frost at the wrong time, etc.)

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