Essay on Agriculture Industries And Wildlife Preservation

780 Words Aug 31st, 2016 4 Pages
The article from Lauren Sommer discusses a prevailing issue that we as Californians all know too well, and that subject is water rights. The ongoing drought crisis in California has lead to many policy reforms that enforce cutbacks in water usage and water diversion. These reforms have rippling effects to many stakeholders involving water rights. The main competing interests Lauren examined in her article were agriculture industries and wildlife preservation. The continuing drought in the state has led the State Water Resources Council (SWRC) to draft a water quality plan that will have to decide how much water would be diverted from the San Joaquin River for Californians and how much water would be diverted to natural systems in the region.


The San Joaquin River is both essential to agricultural irrigation and wildlife. The water is used by farmers and is essential to aquatic organisms such as salmon. Many argue that since up to 90 percent of the water from the river is diverted to Central Valley farms. There is not enough water left over to sustain healthy ecosystems and is endangering the wildlife to the point of extinction. A state report issued that it would take 60 percent of San Joaquin’s fresh water to restore aquatic ecosystems. Conversely, those who are supporting and protecting the agricultural economy argue farmers in the area would lose an estimated $167 million in farm revenue if they received 40 percent of the river’s water unimpaired water…

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