Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Transition Drought Brings to Land and Economy

In Any Language, No Water Means No Jobs


On a recent trip to Madera, we saw firsthand the transition the California drought has brought to what once was prime agricultural land.  As we approached Highway 198 on Highway 41, through the agricultural area, we saw signs like this in English and Spanish in front of dry and barren fields. Many years ago when we passed they were green.  That was before the drought and the water crisis.


Rough Translation of Sign into English: Enough is enough. There's no water. There are no jobs. It's the fault of Congresspeople Jim Costa and Nancy Pelosi.

I saw another sign but I wasn't quick enough to photograph before we passed it. That sign said something like this.

IT'S NOT A WATER CRISIS. IT'S A POLITICAL PROBLEM

That sign was on the west side of the highway. Here's what was on the east side.

California Aqueduct on East Side of Highway, with Irrigation Pipes, Sign on Hwy 41 near Hwy 198 in California,
 © B. Radisavljevic 
It made me wonder why some farmers get water and some don't. Do some have more political pull than others? I don't know, but I did wonder.

The congressman for this area, Devin Nunes, had much to say about the politics involved, in his blog posts on the water crisis. Fourth District Congressman Tom McClintock also had a lot to say about the politics of the water crisis.  When farmers don't get water, they don't grow our food. They can't do it without water.

I took this photo just a bit farther down the highway.

Crops Growing Along Hwy 41 Near Hwy 198,  in California, © B. Radisavljevic 
Some farmers do have water, but not others.

Then there was this sign:

Sign on Hwy 41 near Hwy 198 in California, © B. Radisavljevic 

Evidently,  some politicians think so.

Families  Protecting the Valley

Most of the signs we saw were placed by an organization called Families Protecting the Valley. Their website explains some of the policies  that they believe are influencing who gets to use the water. They point out that historically the San Joaquin Valley has been one of the world's primary growing areas. It is important in our country's ability to be food independent.

As you might guess, since the water crisis, many people have lost their jobs, since farmers with no water can't employ them.

We saw this sign behind the Carl's Jr. parking lot near the intersection of Interstate Highway 5 and Highway 41. This is near the busiest intersection we passed on our way to Madera,  and there were many  places to buy food clustered here.

 I could not find the website address written on the sign. It seems to have been temporary since the domain is now for sale.

Sign Behind the Carl's Jr. Parking Lot, © B. Radisavljevic 

One of the last signs we saw on the way home was this.



It's obvious who these farmers believe will help them. I hope they are right.



This post was written for City Daily Photo Bloggers Theme Day. This month's theme is "Transitions." I have personally seen the transition of green fields and even trees to brown ones when there is not enough rain. See what photos other City Daily Photo Bloggers have posted to illustrate this theme. 


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