Delta Smelt

Topics: Pump, Fish, Irrigation Pages: 2 (775 words) Published: August 7, 2012
After reading all the articles and listening to the news stories on the “Delta Smelt” issue, the following is my interpretation of the issues at hand: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a “biological opinion” which led to water restrictions on the San Joaquin Valley in order to prevent the extinction of the Delta Smelt. The water restrictions lowered the level of water which is pumped through an aqua-duct system from Northern California for irrigation to farms and business which occupy Southern California, which is a natural desert and uninhabitable without irrigation. The pumps that are used to push the water through the aqua-duct system are powerful enough that the Delta Smelt are becoming pulled into the propellers and being destroyed, along with Salmon, Steelhead, Sturgeon and Killer Whales. To protect these species from being destroyed, the water is being diverted into the ocean instead of the San Joaquin Valley. Farms are being left to deal with drought and loss of crops and farmers are being put out of business and workers are losing wages and becoming desolate. They are fighting the government for their rights to prosper instead of losing their livelihoods to a fish, or so they would lead the public to believe. In reality, the farmers are fighting for their right to the water in the aqua-ducts and so is the fishing industry which has lost millions of dollars because of the loss of Salmon, etc. to the water pumps. The fishing industry wants the water diverted to the ocean so that fish aren’t destroyed in the propellers of the pumps and the farmers want the water to continue to be pumped to them, not because they are losing crops to drought, but because they are selling the water which is being pumped to them to buyers to irrigate golf courses, housing developments, and other constructions projects. Selling the water is more prosperous than actually using it to farm. So basically, we have two industries, farming and fishing, fighting against...
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