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One of Us?

TakePartAccording to Kenneth Miller’s infographics published by Takepart:

  • 25% of the food produced in the United States comes from California
  • Only 1% of California’s economy comes from agriculture.
  • Agriculture uses 80% of the water in California

Miller optimistically concludes that “With coordination, modernization, and compromise among regions and economic interests, California should still be able to provide enough water for a growing population and a growing economy.” He coyly writes that “some of the consumers of water that might have to make do with less,” but through his infographic he takes aim at rice farmers and almond growers and quotes Wade Graham of Pepperdine University who says “none of these growers would be making money without subsidized water.”

An interviewer of Wade Graham in April 2014 believes that Agriculture uses 75% of the water and accounts for 2% of the economy, but who’s quibbling.

The point is that not all agriculture is the same – alfalfa, rice and almonds demand a disproportionate use of water. Wade further laments the continuing erosion of the small, family run farm, while corporate agriculture is often exploitive and not sustainable.

Are our elected representatives looking out for the common good of all Californians or special interests?