The Chronicles of the Hydraulic Brotherhood
Lloyd G. Carter, former UPI and Fresno Bee reporter, has been writing about California water issues for more than 35 years. He is President of the California Save Our Streams Council. He is also a board member of the Underground Gardens Conservancy and host of a monthly radio show on KFCF, 88.1 FM in Fresno. This is his personal blog site and contains archives of his news career as well as current articles, radio commentaries, and random thoughts.

Some Things Never Change: Westlands water rustlers' latest job

Westlands water rustlers’ latest job FURTHER DOWN THE DRAIN BY LLOYD G. CARTER “Since pre-Columbian times, the Westlands area was known to be part of the uninhabitable Great California Desert.” From the history section of the Westlands Water District Website, WWW.WestlandsWater.org For more than half a century, growers in the fabled Westlands Water District have been the “bad boys” of federal irrigation projects in the American West, ignoring residency and acreage requirements for taxpayer-subsidized water, getting Congress to change laws they didn’t like, seducing both Republicans and Democrat politicians with a river of campaign contributions, and reaping more crop, water and power subsidies, tax breaks, and debt forgiveness than any other group of farmers in America. Now they are poised to pull off the biggest coup in their controversial history. If they get what they are asking for, 260 billion gallons of publicly-owned water a year for 60 years, they will capture water worth anywhere from $20 to $40 billion - that’s billion with a B - with which they are free to farm tainted soils with, OR resell to urban interests at fantastic profit margins.  READ MORE »

Down In The Valley, August, 2007

This month show's top issue is a proposal by the nation's largest federal irrigation water district, the mammoth Westlands Water District, to garner 15 trillion gallons of California's precious water over the next 60 years. That water has a potential value on the retail market of $20 to $40 billion dollars although Westlands will be buying that water for perhaps 15-20 percent of its true market value.

Listen to "Down in the Valley" live on the second Friday of every month at 3 p.m. Pacific Time on Radio KFCF 88.1 FM, Fresno, California.  READ MORE »

Down In The Valley, July, 2007

Lloyd's July 2007 Radio Show.

Listen to "Down in the Valley" live on the second Friday of every month at 3 p.m. Pacific Time on Radio KFCF 88.1 FM, Fresno, California.

Selenium poisoning is still a threat today

7-5-07
Fresno Bee
LLOYD CARTER: Selenium poisoning is still a threat today
http://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/wo/story/77691.html

It has been nearly a quarter of a century since federal scientists discovered that selenium in Western San Joaquin Valley farm drainwater was triggering massive embryo deformities in ducks and shorebirds and killing all the edible fish at the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge.  READ MORE »

California's Delta In Crisis

In his fourth episode of Tales of the Hydraulic Brotherhood, California water expert and writer Lloyd Carter talks about the ecological crisis facing the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary in the long hot summer of 2007. Los Angeles is experiencing its driest year on record and increasing water exports of Northern California water from the Delta to San Joaquin Valley farms and Southern California have caused the collapse of the Delta's fishery. The three-inch Delta Smelt, a critical part of the Delta fishery food chain, is teetering on the brink of extinction.  READ MORE »

Letter to the Editor: More Pork!

Letters to the Editor
Fresno Bee
July 27, 2007

Dear Sir or Madam,

The U.S. Department of Agriculture gets my inept federal bureaucracy of the month award for writing subsidy checks to 172,801 dead farmers totaling $1.1 billion dollars during the period from 1999 to 2005. This gives new meaning to the term “buying the farm.”

All the sordid details are available in a report from the Government Accountability Office located at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d071137t.pdf.  READ MORE »

Down In The Valley, June, 2007

Lloyd's June 2007 Radio Show

Listen to "Down in the Valley" live on the second Friday of every month at 3 p.m. Pacific Time on Radio KFCF 88.1 FM, Fresno, California.

Selenium Poisoning the American West

In his third episode of Tales of the Hydraulic Brotherhood, California water expert Lloyd Carter talks about the threat posed by the trace element selenium to farmland, rivers, wetlands and wildlife in the western United States. Using the selenium poisoning of the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge in the early 1980s as an example, Carter shows how little has been done by the federal government or state governments to halt selenium contamination caused by irrigation and mining activities.

Further Adventures of the Hydraulic Brotherhood

Further adventures of the Hydraulic Brotherhood: Westlands Update
By Lloyd G. Carter
In the past few years public and media attention in the San Joaquin Valley have been focused on the long court battle over restoring a fishery flow in the San Joaquin River and the alleged impacts it would have on East Side agriculture.  READ MORE »

Subsidy Gravy Train

In his second installment of "Tales of the Hydraulic Brotherhood" California writer and water expert Lloyd Carter talks about the enormous water and crop subsidies flowing in disproportionate amounts to huge factories in the field in Central California's irrigation country. While California big agribusiness operations hide behind the "family farmer" label, they continue to rake in half a billion dollars a year in taxpayer money, according to reports by the Environmental Working Group.  READ MORE »

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