I read the above article (85,000 acre feet of water already lost to Delta smelt, Harry Cline, Western Farm Press, March 15, 2008) and wanted to drop you a line. Your fictional story about bunches of homes having their water cutoff is not so fictional after all!
My family of four lives in Tres Pinos, Calif., in the community of Stonegate. We were given notice at the beginning of July by County Public Works that our water allotment (we are technically on M&I water which is delivered via blue valve from San Louis Reservoir) was greatly reduced because of both the Zebra mussel and the (Delta) Smelt.
What makes our situation more unique is that County Public Works was notified by the County Water District about the potential reduction in water allotment as early as February of this year, but they decided to wait until July to advise us. This was one MONTH into the new allotment period - at which point our community had used up most of the new, reduced allotment.
The end result is that all irrigation water has been cut off and home owners are faced with the potential loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars in landscape. Many of us are being forced to install water tanks and have water trucked in - just to save our investment. All the while you can drive down the street a short distance and see water literally dumped on the streets.
We found out that the biggest factor in the decision to cut our water allotment was in fact from the State Water Project as a result of a recent judicial ruling to save the smelt!
I've always been a strong supporter of environmental causes, but this seems to be another case of environmentalism gone wild!! Damn everyone - but we're gonna “save” that little fish!!!Thanks again for the great piece!
San Benito County, Calif.