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california agriculture, drought, and politics

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cali drought

Published on March 30, 2015 by The Daily Beast

How Growers Gamed California’s Drought
by Mark Hertsgaard

Consuming 80 percent of California’s developed water but accounting for only 2 percent of the state’s GDP, agriculture thrives while everyone else is parched.

“I’ve been smiling all the way to the bank,” said pistachio farmer John Dean at a conference hosted this month by Paramount Farms, the mega-operation owned by Stewart Resnick, a Beverly Hills billionaire known for his sprawling agricultural holdings, controversial water dealings, and millions of dollars in campaign contributions to high-powered California politicians including Governor Jerry Brown, former governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis, and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

The record drought now entering its fourth year in California has alarmed the public, left a number of rural communities without drinking water, and triggered calls for mandatory rationing. There’s no relief in sight: The winter rainy season, which was a bust again this year, officially ends on April 15. Nevertheless, some large-scale farmers are enjoying extraordinary profits despite the drought, thanks in part to infusions of what experts call dangerously under-priced water.

Continue reading the full article here.

One thought on “california agriculture, drought, and politics

  1. Reblogged this on The Root Of It All and commented:
    An informative article about the unsustainable farming industries and water policy in California. These practices are a major negative consequence of our capitalist economy, when our profit is more important than our environment. A good reminder that the food choices we make have a much larger impact than our taste buds or health. You can be a steward of the environment through your food choices.

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