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.

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 »

Westlands Water District

In his first podcast of "Tales of the Hydraulic Brotherhood" California water expert
Lloyd Carter talks about the Westlands Water District, at 942 square miles the largest and most politically powerful federal water district in America.

Westlands has a drainage problem caused by selenium, a trace element inherent in the soils of the western San Joaquin Valley in Central California, the nation's most productive farming region. Drainage water from Westlands poisoned ducks and shorebirds at the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge in the mid 1980s triggering national headlines.  READ MORE »

Pork Barrel Farmers

Pork Barrel Farmers

By Lloyd G. Carter

I have concluded over the years that when writing about the complexities of California’s byzantine water world, it is easiest to write about water in terms of cold hard cash. A flowing, living river has aesthetic value to environmentalists and preservationists while a river of dollar bills appeals to a different set of values that even the most apathetic taxpayer can understand..  READ MORE »

Down In The Valley, May, 2006

Lloyd Carter's May of 2006 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.

Down In The Valley, March, 2006

Lloyd Carter's March of 2006 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.

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