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Farming Overproduction in The Valley Hits the Wall with SGMA

Farming Overproduction in The Valley Hits the Wall with SGMA

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 26 September 2019




Farming Overproduction in The Valley Hits the Wall with SGMA

California Farmers Face ‘Catastrophic’ Water Restrictions. Can They Adapt to Survive?
Sac Bee, September 25, 2019.


"...California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA. Starting next January, the law will require farmers to gradually rein in the amount of groundwater they can pump from their wells."

"...groundwater. It accounts for 38 percent of the state’s total supply in a normal year, close to 50 percent or more in a dry year."

"The SGMA law (pronounced “sigma”) says groundwater basins must be brought into “sustainability” — defined as cutting consumption to the point that they’re no longer causing “chronic lowering of groundwater levels” or other “undesirable results.” To implement the law, dozens of regional groundwater agencies have been set up. The January launch has managers scrambling to figure out just how much less water their farmers will have in the future."

"It could devastate the economy of the entire San Joaquin Valley."

The Subsidence Pole
The Subsidence Pole, by Dr. Polard & NOAA.
Visible Effects of Groundwater Draw, caption, credit to Dr. Polard, shown, & USGS

Far From Balance
"To bring the Valley’s aquifers into balance, the Public Policy Institute of California says anywhere between 535,000 and 750,000 acres of Valley farmland will have to be retired eventually."

"California’s groundwater law won’t affect all parts of the Valley equally. A sad truth is that it will hit hardest in places that are most reliant on groundwater and most fragile economically."

Back to Sustainability
"...as much as one-third of Eastern Tule’s land could go out of production eventually, and already the region’s farming industry is beginning to wither."

"Farmers...will have to curtail their groundwater usage by 40 percent eventually."

Criminal State Subsidized Labor Force
Fuel of Overproduction Abuses
"..who came to the United States nine years ago, picks oranges, lemons, grapes and olives...but...she’s on food stamps now because it’s off season and she’s been caring for her 13-month-old daughter Guadalupe Ruby."

Back to Social Sustainability
Back to Mexico
"Unable to speak English, they doubt they’d be able to find much work in Tulare County. One possibility is moving to Oregon, where they’ve picked cherries before and there don’t seem to be any water shortages."

Free Health Care & Food Stamps
"Her husband...also works in the fields but he’s been reduced to part-time labor because of diabetes and other health problems."

It's Getting Hotter and Hotter
"...climate change could lead to even more land retirement."

Greedy Democrats & Their Above the Law illegals
They've Drained Our State & Country
"The arrival of the state’s groundwater law has reignited a debate over state water policies and who’s to blame for the desperate condition of the Valley’s aquifers."

Greed & Cheap Subsidized Water and Labor
Driving Overproduction
"Farmers also took heat for planting crops such as almonds, whose footprint more than doubled over the past 20 years to more than 900,000 acres."

To Big Not to Fail
"...farmers were...pumping so much groundwater that portions of the Valley floor literally sank. That phenomenon, known as subsidence, can compact the layers of soil and make it impossible for aquifers to fully “recharge” in wet years, scientists say."

Potential Solutions

Private Water-Trading Market

New Pipelines

More Fed Water through Delta



July 2017
Idiocracy in Action
"Uncertainty High," and that our Water Availability Plans are likely "Substantially Wrong."




The Problem
State subsidized illegal labor and virtually free state subsidized water, along with federally subsidized water, allowed both massive corporate, and small family farms, to completely overdevelop The Valley, far beyond its sustainable capacity. This massive glut of farms quickly drained the groundwater to dangerous levels.

Subsidized Destruction
Cheap labor and cheap water allowed them all to drain The Valley.
Now that we are hitting the physical limits of our farmer's water and labor abuses, there's going to be pain all around as we stop subsidizing their unlimited use and extraction of our water, and all the farms will fail if and when we finally stop subsidizing their illegal labor force.

Responsible Water Policy
Maybe we should have limited the expansion of farm production in The Valley to within our sustainable groundwater limits in the first place, to prevent today's over-expansion of farming operations from ever happening in the first place, rather than hit the wall in a crisis, as we find ourselves trapped today. Cheap subsidized illegal labor and cheap subsidized water are the cornerstones of the overproduction abuses that have ruined our Valley.

Responsible Labor Policy
To further limit the growth and operation of irresponsible farming operations, we must also tie our policies of responsible water use to strong policies enforcing responsible labor practices, meaning restricting all farming and ranching operations to using only legal labor paid a living American wage, capable of supporting all the farmworker's social and family needs, such as the medicine, education, and criminal justice costs of the farmer's vast illegal labor force, which are all today paid-for and completely subsidized by the Taxpayers of the State of California. Corporate Farmers and all farmers pay a lot of bribes to Democrats in California to maintain their fully subsidized illegal labor force...

Stop Cheating
We've got to fix the farming system by breaking it off its dependence on illegal state-subsidized labor, state subsidized water, and its practice of draining all our groundwater.
We can easily stay within the limits of water sustainability, if we stop the farmers from cheating on labor and water, by forcing them to recognize and pay the actual costs of doing business, "up front," rather than hiding them through illegal labor practices and abusive subsidies.

The Poison Apple
I would rather pay the real costs of an apple, worked by legal labor, than subsidize these criminals with taxpayer dollars for a cheap apple.

The Real Price of Food
We've got to figure out the market prices of food grown with honorable labor, water, and business practices, then defend these social and environmentally responsible standards, practices, and prices. No more slave labor subsidized corporations, either in The Valley or in China...

The Honorable Price of Food
Shaking all the cheating and cheaters out of the Valley's agricultural, "markets," is going to be necessary to clean up our environment. We have not paid, "sustainable," or, "honorable," prices for our agricultural products for a very long time, and nature's been drained because of these manipulations.

Beyond the Pale
It is time we calculated the costs of cheating against the costs of honesty, and realize that we can only cheat each other and nature for so long, before our social and natural infrastructures break under the stresses generated by our abuses. We are now approaching these physical break points, long after we've passed far beyond the limits of honesty and honor.



Recent Groundwater News & Research

"Real American Environmentalism," Required
Aug 2019
2018 Valley Subsidence a Symbol of Overproduction Abuses


Sept 2019
SB 559, & the Friant-Kern Canal: "Socialism," for Rich Corporate Farmers & their Illegals


Aug 2019
The Water System Collapses, We Pay for Profits, The San Joaquin Subsidence Blues


Aug 2019
US Wells Chasing Disappearing Groundwater Ever Deeper


March 2019
Our Frightening Groundwater Future of, Fright, Flight, & Fight


March 2019
Growing Land Use Apocalypse Approaches


Dec 2018
American Groundwater Overestimated, at Risk from Fracking and Climate Changes


Sept 2018
Drought Never Ended? Groundwater loss Sinking San Joaquin Valley


April 2018
Do We Have Ground and Surface Water Crisis in California? I Can't Tell from this Article...


Nov 2017
Climate Change News: Groundwater Changing in the American West


Nov 2017
Groundwater Double-Wammy, Two Stories; Groundwater depletion adds CO2, & Groundwater recharge Declines


Oct 2017
Western water wells are going dry




News of Trail & Weather, September 2019








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