Will Parrish, ANDERSON VALLEY ADVERTISER
March 5: Speaking at the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board’s once-every-other-month meeting in the north Santa Rosa burbs on January 30th, California State Water Resources Board member Steven Moore characterized California’s drought as a natural disaster of epic proportions.
“This is our Hurricane Sandy,” he told the North Coast’s five regional board members.
In spite of a few solid drenchings in the past week, as well as a relatively wet February across much of California, the drought is indeed leading to some serious dislocations in many areas of the state, especially for farmers.
We have San Joaquin Valley almond farmers pulling thousands of acres of trees and chipping them to sell to power plants. Cattle ranchers in Bakersfield and elsewhere in the region are selling their stocks en masse as grasslands dry up and hay prices stratify. Fields across the US’ most prolific agricultural region lie fallow.
The idea that the drought is a natural disaster, as opposed to a human-engineered catastrophe (or, better yet, a capitalist-engineered one), papers over the real causes of the state’s water crisis: California’s insanely wasteful and destructive water system.