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Water Crisis Hurting California’s Economy


Aired 5/1/09

The below-normal snowpack in the Sierra could mean more water restrictions next summer ... and lost jobs. KPBS Envirronment Reporter Ed Joyce explains.

— The below-normal snowpack in the Sierra could mean more water restrictions next summer ... and lost jobs. KPBS Envirronment Reporter Ed Joyce explains.

The final survey of the season in the Sierra shows the snowpack is at two-thirds of normal for this time of year.

Just last week the San Diego County Water Authority told customers it would be reducing water deliveries by eight percent starting July 1.

State Meteorologist Elissa Lynn says the lean snowpack, restrictions on Delta pumping and continued drought is hurting the state's economy.

"It's estimated that about 20,000 jobs will be lost in the San Joaquin Valley this year due to the loss in crop production and related business impacts from this drought that we're experiencing," Lynn said. "I think everyone needs to treat water like the precious resource it is and definitely conserve."

Lynn says supply from state and federal water projects will be near record lows this year.

She says a growing population also puts a squeeze on supply.

Lynn says if conditions remain dry next year more severe restrictions on water use will be necessary.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

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Avatar for user 'beechum1'

beechum1 | May 25, 2009 at 1:43 p.m. ― 7 years, 10 months ago

I find it disappointing Mr Joyce, that you would only mention the below normal precipitation as the cause for this reduced water supply.

Please don't forget to mention next time the ridiculous "environmentalist" intervention to save a minnow, at the expense of estimated 35,000 jobs, and cause food shortages in a relatively short term that would cause relying on importation of food.

So, in such a economic situation, some hippie liberal has decided that a fish's life is more important than an estimated affected >1 million?

Please do not omit this important information. I would be disappointed to think that your reporting is biased.


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Avatar for user 'heteromeles'

heteromeles | June 22, 2009 at 9:22 a.m. ― 7 years, 9 months ago

re: beechum1,

There's a problem with blaming the delta smelt. Yes, it does seem goofy, but the real problem is that there are a lot of people living on imported water, imported fuel, and imported food. Anything that threatens any one of those threatens us, whatever it is. One of the better long-term measures is to learn to live within our means.

Let's imagine that we overturn the endangered species act, and pump so much fresh water out of the delta that the San Francisco Bay and Delta are totally seawater. We use that water to let more people move to southern California. Then the oil that powers the pumps runs out. What then? We'll have an even worse and more urgent problem than we do now.

The fish in the Delta, silly as they seem, are actually forcing us to start doing things like thinking, planning, and living within our means. Better to do it now, than to wait until the state's population has doubled again, and the pumps stop. Then it will be a true crisis. Now it's just a nuisance.

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Avatar for user 'adimpov'

adimpov | June 23, 2009 at 8:08 a.m. ― 7 years, 9 months ago

San Diego has always had a water problem . I've just returned from Portland Or that has no problem with water and they have frozen all new home building, why has San Diego refused to stop building? Is this an example of "stuck on stupid" or city hall being paid off by the construction industry?
If you don't cover that issue, your part of the problem.

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Avatar for user 'barracuda22'

barracuda22 | October 31, 2009 at 10:48 p.m. ― 7 years, 4 months ago

Hello California has had a water crisis since the first record in mendota 1925. Now if you look at it most of the world is having this problem, but we as users and a busers do not care because people have been abusing it for a long time. People do not care what happens. Now would it be ashame if we do not have the water for the population, then what someone will take the blame we do have a real have a situation. If this continues we will not have fresh water that comes from rain, instead

we will have salt intrusion and it will be our drinking water. That will taste good. California feeds 25 o/o of the world, due to this shortage yes food prices will spike and the lose of jobs will continue. This will continue to hurt agriculture and the people of this state. They will have to move and the economics of this fine state will continue to have it's problem.

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