California is in the midst of the worst drought on record. Even when the region was blessed with a little precipitation, much of the water was forced out to the ocean instead of stored because of federal protections of the Delta smelt. Farmers who have been making every effort to conserve, while still managing to produce large quantities, are left scratching their heads in frustration. When the State Water Resources Control Board declared it would make one of the most significant water grabs in history, the contracted landowners’ frustrations peaked. In response, several organizations combined their efforts and hosted a water rally in Firebaugh. Thousands showed up, many Merced County residents held signs, talked to the press, and listened to elected officials from east to west. It was breathtaking example of a community effort to have their voices heard.
I am extremely proud of these civil but grim discussions communities are having, but the next day there was zero mention of this great effort and successes of the Water Rally 2014. Instead, the Sun-Star opted to produce a front-page story on a fracking event that two dozen people attended. I think it’s time for the Sun-Star to start writing stories on the real issues facing Merced County residents and the imminent harms we are facing.
Merced County Farm Bureau