We pay to make a few grow­ers rich

The Modesto Bee - - Opinion - – Michael Hauschild, Modesto

We are a ma­jor ex­porter of al­monds, which re­quire large amounts of wa­ter. Cal­i­for­nia has weak laws on ground­wa­ter. As a re­sult, the al­mond in­dus­try has ex­ploited our ground­wa­ter by pump­ing at an in­dus­trial scale. Did they get a raise in rates? No. We have sub­si­dized much of the cost and the re­sults are re­flected in Modesto Ir­ri­gation Dis­trict and city of Modesto util­ity bills. The scarcity of wa­ter due to cli­mate change has been in­creased by overuse by a very few at the ex­pense of ev­ery­one who lives in Stanis­laus County. If you are against our wa­ter be­ing sold else­where, re­al­ize the ex­port of al­monds from Cal­i­for­nia amounts to the same thing. Sell­ing al­monds for ex­port amounts to sell­ing our wa­ter. Ed­i­tor’s note: Al­monds grown within Modesto Ir­ri­gation Dis­trict use mostly sur­face wa­ter from the Tuolumne River. Since the con­struc­tion of the wa­ter treat­ment fa­cil­ity, pump­ing has di­min­ished and the wa­ter ta­ble be­neath Modesto has risen – even dur­ing the drought years.

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