What is in this article?:
- Reports still claim 800,000 acres of California farmland lay fallow for lack of irrigation water.
- Food lines continue in Central California as jobless farm workers need to eat.
Law enforcement officials say increased crime results from joblessness.
Independent film maker Juan Carlos Oseguera, right, and San Joaquin Valley farmer George Delgado stand where Delgado grew melons and other row crops.
Juan Carlos Oseguera readily admits that water weaves a complicated web in California.
Not only is water confusing in terms of politics, but even the practicality of moving it around the state seems mired in a world absent of common sense.
Oseguera is a film maker. His interest in water issues came in 2009 when farmworkers and farmers marched through a dust storm along the west side of the San Joaquin Valley (SJV).
The 50-mile march from Mendota to San Luis Reservoir was in response to the frustration and outrage over federal decisions to cut water supplies to farmers.
“I thought this was just a small issue,” Oseguera said. “I eventually realized this was bigger than I could have imagined.”
Oseguera is referring to California’s fight for farm water, hence the title of his independent movie: “The Fight for Water: A Farmworker Struggle.”
The 78-minute long movie features interviews with farmworkers and farmers. It documents the impact a key environmental decision had on farming communities.
That environmental decision, reportedly intended to protect an endangered species of fish, “had unintended consequences upon the community who needed it to farm, have jobs, and be able to provide for their families,” says Oseguera in a written synopsis of the film.
It also features footage from the 2009 Mendota-to-San Luis Reservoir march where actor and comedian Paul Rodriguez, himself the product of migrant farmworkers who worked in Central Valley fields, explains why this issue is a personal for him and thousands of Latinos who work the fields.
Some of the footage comes from the rally held at San Luis Reservoir west of Los Banos, where politicians drove and flew in and received an earful from angry, frustrated farmworkers who wanted nothing more than to return to work and earn a paycheck.
The movie also tells the stories of George Delgado and Joe Del Bosque, two Central California farmers who are the product of farmworker parents. It chronicles how they became land owners and started farming companies before regulatory decisions took water away and their ability to farm.