Kalifornia is currently undergoing one of the most severe droughts on record. However Republican Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, claims the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is literally draining water into the sea all for the sake of a three-inch fish.
After only three years of drought conditions, farmers in the San Joaquin Valley have been forced to let tens of thousands of acres of citrus and almond trees die for lack of water.
Grove claims the Endangered Species Act and its effort to protect the tiny delta smelt has taken water away from farmers. She says the state should have stored up more water from wet years and not flushed 800,000 acre-feet into the San Francisco Bay last winter and an additional 445,000 acre-feet this spring to safeguard the endangered fish.
According to the University of California-Davis, this represents the “greatest water loss ever seen” for California agriculture and resulted in the loss of 17,000 seasonal and part-time jobs.
“Today’s drought I think is more politically driven than weather-related,” said a local farmer, and added that he doesn’t remember these kinds of problems until Congress passed the Endangered Species Act in 1973.
“Until that happened we were fine,” he said. “We got through all our droughts with no issues.”
“Does that make any sense?” Grove asks. “Are these fish that valuable? “Should we always put fish over humans?”
“So I have one more question to ask you,” Grove said. “What civilized society destroys its own food source for a three-inch fish?”