14 Jun 2011

Water will not help Mendota's unemployed

Deirdre Des Jardins of California Water Research Associates argues that fallowed land around Mendota (the town famous for its 40% unemployment) is the result of salinity build-up, not a lack of water for irrigation.

Westlands has argued that places like Mendota are suffering without water and cited "high" unemployment and fallowing as a reason to export more water from the Delta to Westlands. That argument is hollow, since more water would not help Mendota. It would help farmers in other places, but they are not suffering as much from unemployment and fallowing. (They probably want to switch to water-intensive tomato production.)