Water is a public resource that’s vital to ecosystem and community health, and Big Ag should be regulated to ensure its usage is efficient.
By Elizabeth Reid-Wainscoat, Los Angeles
Elizabeth Reid-Wainscoat is a campaigner for the Center for Biological Diversity.
Re “The importance of California’s agricultural water supplies”; Commentary, Jan. 3, 2022
Portraying our current agricultural economy as driven by subsistence needs rather than the desire to maximize profit is a gross mischaracterization of a multibillion-dollar industry.
Approximately 133 billion pounds of food is wasted every year in the U.S. We produce far more food than we consume and while we do export crops to other nations, those are often luxury items produced for their high sale value, not to solve world hunger.
Water is a public resource that’s vital to ecosystem and community health, and we need to regulate Big Ag to ensure its usage is as efficient as possible. This regulation must extend beyond irrigation measures to include crop selection and production amounts that reflect actual need.
Currently, about 80% of our state’s water is diverted to agriculture. Without intervention, Big Ag will continue to overdraft our rivers and streams to feed their wallets, not the world.