Posted under government
An article in the Wednesday San Francisco Chronicle starts with the line “Nearly 1.3 million East Bay residents could be forced to ration water as early as next month if rains don’t increase.” At the same time, the salmon population in Northern California has collapsed to the extent that the commercial fishery was closed this year, and this happened in part because of low water flows in rivers where salmon spawn. The Delta Smelt population has collapsed for the same reason. Drinking water for the Bay Area is piped hundreds of miles, over one of the world’s most active fault zones, and water that serves Southern California is piped there from up here, which is part of the reason we’re running low up here.
There is a ton that we can do with conservation. Also, farmers aren’t even monitored to track how much water they use, much less charged for it; with even mild incentives, they could save a lot. But still, no matter how you slice it, we are running out of water. And yet, organizations like the Association of Bay Area Governments insist that local governments must allow for more growth, or face penalties. Developers insist on being allowed to build more housing. Housing advocates do the same. We keep building more, more, more, and if anyone suggests that we stop — stop building more freeways, stop building more water pipelines, stop adding public infrastructure to enable more people to come — that person is denounced by people across the political spectrum.
Well, you know what? Someday, Nature is going to insist that we stop adding more people. And she’s not going to be nice about it, either. Not this year, and maybe not this decade, there will be a drought, or an earthquake, and millions of people will turn on the tap and nothing will come out. No water to drink, no water to wash, no water to flush, just nothing.
Me, I’d like to stop bringing in more people before things get bad. Some people say that makes me a bad person, but none of them will explain why. Resources are finite; are we not allowed to say so?