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California aqueduct system to deliver zero water to farmers, 20+ million homes in 2014  RSS feed

 
Ann Torrence
steward
Posts: 1191
Location: Torrey, UT; 6,840'/2085m; 7.5" precip; 125 frost-free days
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I woke this morning to my DH telling me that California was shutting off the aqueducts. It's nowhere on the front screens of the national news media, but he reads the UK Guardian. I found a better article in the San Jose Mecury News that says one of the two major systems is indeed turning off the tap altogether. The other will announce what they are doing in the next couple of weeks. Nothing like advance warning of an impending crisis to prioritize the day's to-do list.

1) Checked our snowpack: 85%. Our irrigation water allotment will be ok this year. We are on a pioneer-era system from one river drainage. We can get by in the short term while our new swales get started charging our land.
2) Brought up the terrifying (due to cost) idea of installing micro irrigation in the new orchard. Agreed to instantly. Somehow the idea of hand-watering 500 new trees doesn't appeal to either of us if our allotment get dialed back. The town downstream has senior water rights to our town.
3) Food prices are bound to go up. California's #1 legal cash crop is beef. Kiss the $1 menu items goodbye, America. I was already planning a CSA meat buy for February. Actually, we were already lined up to go in the right direction as far as becoming self-sufficient, but some items will get moved to the top right now. We need to get our roof rain collection system installed, pronto. We may buy some California wine, Zinfandel being my favorite.

The hidden blessing in this is that locally grown produce is going to look a lot more economical to folks once they can't get the water-subsidized California lettuce and broccoli this spring. If I lived somewhere within range of an urban area, I'd be accelerating any plans I had to be planting a farmers' market garden this year.

The real cost to lower income Americans? I shudder to think. I have been saying for years, "calories are cheap, nutrition is expensive." Even that may not be true any more. Hang on to your hats folks, this is going to be quite a ride.

 
John Elliott
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Posts: 2392
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I wonder what the strawberry crop will be like this year. California produces 88% of the country's strawberries. Good thing I doubled the size of my strawberry bed last year. I think there's more places I can plant them.
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3979
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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This looks like a job for captain permaculture!
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
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Thanks for the link Ann, I've been sweating ulcers over something like this since I was foolish enough to read "Cadillac Desert" while sitting in a window seat on a transnational flight a ways back. Looks like I get to go around the next week asking "Who's crazy now!!!". I've got friends in Oakland and SF. They're starting to get a clue about the whole food/air/water thing - Hopefully it'll catch on.
 
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