Friday, March 7, 2014

In California the Best Way to Obtain Water is to Steal It

In California the best way for a city to obtain drinking water is to steal it. If you've seen Chinatown you know that the water rights in the Owens Valley near the Sierras were surreptitiously acquired by agents of Los Angeles. At the same time the family that owned the Los Angeles Times and other members of the elite California Club bought, on the cheap, land in the San Fernando Valley. When the Owens Valley aqueduct delivered the water to Los Angeles, the city incorporated the San Fernando Valley into the city and the land became valuable overnight. Soon the Valley was home to the smell of orange blossoms. Today, however, the Valley is home to smog from the idling automobiles of hungry real estate agents.
In 1923 a dam was completed on the Tuolomne River, within the boundaries of Yosemite National Park, and a smaller, but equally as  beautiful Valley  as Yosemite itself, called the Hetch Hetchy, was flooded to provide water for the city of San Francisco. It is said that this broke the heart of California's most famous environmentalist, John Muir.
At least a decade ago Santa Barbara built a desalination plant to provide the city with water. Unfortunately, water was plentiful for a while, and eventually the equipment was sold off and the plant mothballed. A Los Angeles Times reporter went to visit the abandoned plant. He heaped derision on the city fathers who had chosen to obtain water in this manner.
I'm sure this will not be an easy years for the citizens of Santa Barbara as they attempt to get water during California's historic drought.
As for us in L A, we have the greenest lawns and we take showers that can last for a while.
We don't care about the rest of California. Those people should have thought ahead and stolen their water when they had the chance.

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