In 2007, the Federal District Court ruled to curtail water deliveries at the San Joaquin-Sacramento River delta from December to June to protect the endangered and declining fish delta smelt. The Feds have denied all farmland irrigation water allocations to the heavily-agricultural western San Joaquin Valley. As comedian Paul Rodriguez said, "Water makes the difference between the Garden of Eden and Death Valley." The San Joaquin Valley is slowly feeling more and more like Death Valley. One local community even has a 41% unemployment rate. Yike! Now the farmers are protesting and demanding water!
If the San Joaquin farmers cannot get water, then they cannot grow crops. If they cannot grow crops, then they cannot sell their fruits and vegetables in stores for us to eat. If we cannot get this food, then we will have to buy it elsewhere or do without it. In this current economy, we will need all the food that we can get. The farmers need water! Turn the water pumps back on!
Thousands of farmers, farmworkers and their supporters rallied at City Hall on Wednesday, calling on federal officials to ease regulations that have cut water supplies to the nation's most prolific growing region.