Water vs. food
Last updated 9/18/2008 at Noon
Instead of requiring new development to finance their own water, authorities make existing residents (mainly farmers) supply it through cutbacks and conservation.
Agriculture-heavy districts such as Fallbrook and Rainbow have decreased use by more than 30 percent while the city of San Diego – the region’s largest user – reduced use by 1.3 percent. The city explained the low numbers could be related to the large number of commercial and industrial users that have consistent water needs. Our farmers apparently don’t have consistent water needs.
One avocado farmer remarked, “It looks like the end of the road for me;” another quipped, “If you think we have a problem with foreign oil, wait until we’re not growing our own food.” It’s ironic that Iran is now buying over a million tons of wheat from the US because of drought conditions in that country.
Some portray farmers as overindulged consumers who shouldn’t be growing crops in the desert anyway, ignoring (according to one water official) the fact that housing developments, per acre, use about the same amount of water.
We need to think about tomorrow. Loss of farmland is irreversible.
Glenn F. Carroll