Group wants chemical-filled farmland retired
The giant state and federal pumps in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that funnel water to 25 million Californians should be shut down until certain Central Valley farmers retire hundreds of thousands of acres of chemical-laden farmland, according to a lawsuit filed today by a state water watchdog. Irrigating agricultural land in the western San Joaquin Valley tainted with selenium, mercury, boron and other toxic substances constitutes an unreasonable use of a public resource protected by state laws and has contributed to the sharp decline of endangered fish species, said the California Water Impact Network. "We think there is a simple solution to California's water problems - to retire all of the drainage-impaired lands in the Central Valley. A second is water conservation - agriculture uses 80 percent of the developed surface water," said Carolee Krieger, president and founder C-WIN. <more> Dec. 2, 2008 SF Chronicle