Monday, June 17, 2002

Don't hold back, say what you feel! Tom Perry in the LA Times tells us about the water rights furor in California's Imperial Valley. For those of you unfamiliar with the West, water rights are everything. California has a particularly checkered history in that regard, since most of the SoCal population centers and many farms are located in the next best thing to a desert. In any case, the article was not bad, considering it appeared in the Slimes; but two items caught my eye.

When U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) lectured the farmers of the Imperial Valley that they should let some of their fields go dry so their water can be sold to arid San Diego County, it was bound to be a controversial notion.

But when she warned bluntly that the federal government might just take their water without paying if farmers refuse to fallow, Imperial Irrigation District board member Bruce Kuhn could not restrain himself.

"I would expect nothing less from Feinstein, being the bureaucratic gasbag, pig-eyed sack of crap that she is," Kuhn was quoted as saying last month in a front-page story in the Imperial Valley Press. "They will not take the water without a long, protracted legal battle. She has got her head stuck in the sand."
I'd say that was a polite assessment of Feinstein. About the only good thing I can think of about her is that she is smarter than Barbara Boxer. But then so are most doorknobs.

The other item was:
Among their worries is that the cost of mending the sickly Salton Sea will be shifted by the federal government to the Imperial Valley. The water sale to San Diego could reduce agricultural runoff to the landlocked sea, thereby making it saltier and more contaminated. Some cost estimates of fixing the sea exceed $1 billion.
The Salton Sea is the world's longest lasting mud puddle, having been created by a flood in 1905 and sustained ever since by farm runoff and the sewers of Mexicali, Mexico. It has been adopted by the ecoweenies and there have been a whole host of plans to fix it up as a pristine and permanent feature of the landscape. The billion dollar mud puddle - yep, we can do it.