The beginning of the interview was quite an eye opener in regards to how water management in California is being handled. We already know the crazy fact that one gallon of water is required to produce a single almond. However, Tony Francois told Dawn J Bennett that the federal government is also mismanaging some of California's saved water resources. It turns out that the Federal Endangered Species Act which has been fully implemented in California has been using a lot of California's saved water for wildlife protection and various endangered species programs.
This has drained water supplies which were originally intended for urban and agriculture. The amount of water used has been staggering too. This government agency ordered roughly 9 billion gallons of water to save around 29 fish. The purpose behind this sudden deluge of water was to simulate a major rain storm in which there is flooding which triggers the fish to migrate up river or down river. This was done in the Stanislaus River in order to encourage the last remaining fish to migrate out. The benefits of this are extremely marginal yet nonetheless the Federal Bureau of Reclamation and the Wild Life Agency went ahead with this.
One of the reasons the Federal Bureau of Reclamation operates in this way is the unintended result of a Supreme Court Case from several years ago. The case incidentally established that the Federal Government's highest priority is the Endangered Species Act and wildlife protection. This was the result of a case decision in regards to the Tellico Dam and the Tennessee Valley Authority which had the dam shut down because of some small fish in a spring downstream. Congress afterwards went and amended the Endangered Species Act to include "reasonable and prudent" for the protections, but this has obviously not taken effect in all areas.
Dawn J Bennett brought up the fact that President Obama and many other climate scientists say that climate change is the culprit behind this extended drought. Those along with warming temperatures which are causing snow melt to melt sooner and faster have exacerbated the problem. Tony Francois says he respectfully disagrees with them citing the fact that California has had pretty severe droughts in the past and that this one wouldn't be as difficult as it currently is if it weren't for the Federal government's mismanagement of the water supplies California had been saving up. He also says Governor Jerry Brown's announcement to reduce the amount of water urban Californians can use is fair. Many have complained about California's agricultural side but they have already been reducing their usage for years already.
The question now though is with the Federal government having already mismanaged so much water will the drought end soon enough before crisis measures have to be implemented?
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About Dawn Bennett
Dawn Bennett is CEO and Founder of Bennett Group Financial Services. She hosts a national radio program called Financial Myth Busting http://www.financialmythbusting.com
She discusses educational topics and events in the financial news, along with her thoughts on the economy, financial markets, investments, and more with her live guests, who have included rock legend Ted Nugent, as well as Steve Forbes and Grover Norquist. Listeners can call 855-884-DAWN a as well as take podcasts on the road and forums for interaction.
She can be reached on Twitter @DawnBennettFMB or on Facebook Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett or firstname.lastname@example.org