This is a tale of US environmental groups, joining with their environmental counterparts in the United Nations, and using a small group of people to bash the entire United States and at the same time blame agriculture in California with the goal to further limit the viability of agriculture in California which is already precarious.
If you thought the UN just stayed in New York or went to 3rd world countries, think again. UN attorney Catarina de Albuquerque of Portugal, will visit the UNINCORPORATED COMMUNITY, not CITY of Seville. There is no doubt that this small community of 200+ residents is drawing its water from a badly sourced well and that the delivery system (pipes) is probably almost as old as our governor. (Jerry Brown). This issue has been taken up by an organization called CWC or Community Water Center. More on this in a bit. The real issue in the San Joaquin Valley is why aren’t all of the valley communities served by snow pack run off that can be conveyed throughout California in a series of Canals and Pipelines that mostly exist already? This water is probably the cleanest source of water on earth and the reason I know this is that a great deal of it is used to protect the smelt in the California River Delta around Stockton, CA. I know the Enviro-Whackos in California would not let bad water touch their smelt! California and the Federal Government have failed miserably to manage one of California’s most valuable natural resource, not water, but the State’s ability to CAPTURE water from snow pack melt and USE IT WISELY. Back to this in a moment…
Why did I capitalize the words unincorporated Community and city in the last paragraph? Because the press has been calling Seville a City which has very definite legal connotations and responsibilities to its residents and is an autonomous entity within a state and county in California. A city can tax, create laws, and provide for the safety and protection of its residents. An unincorportated community in California has no independent status and is supported only the country that it resides in. Seville consists of 70-80 homes and an elementary school. That said, this community of 70-80 homes, a small store and an elementary school have a local well as their only source of water. The small community is at the mercy of Tulare County for any infrastructure such as police and fire protection and other than that, they won’t get a lot of attention from the county seat. Tulare County most likely did not install this well but most likely it was installed by a local farmer for some of his farm workers then eventually became a “community” well. The locals are asking for $1,000,000 to drill a new well and to replace their existing delivery system. I can tell you the this will probably not cover the costs of the permits let alone the well drilling and the new trenching and piping. Also, it won’t solve their problem. The San Joaquin Valley floor was once under the ocean and naturally contains concentrations of some pretty nasty stuff including Nitrates, Selenium, Arsenic and other niceties. Drilling deeper may lessen the concentrations but will most likely not eliminate them. Also, Seville is a loose knit group of residents with no formal status and thus no infrastructure in place to maintain the well and the pipeline. Is Tulare county going to test the water every month for pathogens and install the proper chlorination equipment? Who in the this community is certified by the State to monitor the water quality and maintain the equipment. Answer, probably no one.
You should be asking yourself at least the following questions by now:
- Why is this issue in this small community raising to the level of a global investigation?
- How did the United Nations hear about Seville?
- What is the real agenda of the CWC or Community Water Center?
The UN is pushing Clean Water as a global “right” for everyone on this earth. There is no doubt that clean water is essential and that everyone should make sure their families live in an environment that can provide clean drinking water. This is especially true in the United States. Globally this is a much more complex issue in many of the Third World Countries where potable water is a luxury. Let’s stick to the US for now. The UN and many in this administration would like to hold up the US as an example of a “rich” nation that does not provide potable water to its poorest minority citizens living in its CITIES. Keep in mind, Seville is not a city but an unincorporated area in Tulare County some 6+ miles from any other community. It is not a City by any sense of the word where there is an expectation of basic services but the UN want to portray the area in that manner to make an invalid point. By using this tactic and having an example in the US to point to, Seville, the UN hopes to shame the US into more contributions to fight global water quality. Trust me, the California Water Quality Control Board has no clue how to cost effectively do this so you can bet some UN bureaucrat will be even worse. Just more taxes and regulations.
The CWC most likely worked with environmental organizations at various levels to make sure Seville was called to the attention of the UN. The CWC and its partners complimentary agendas that they are pursuing that would be helped by having the UN focus on poor water quality for minorities in the US and especially the San Joaquin Valley.
The real agenda of the CWC is to help environmental groups shut down agriculture in California. WHAT? That is absolutely the agenda. They cite over fertilization as the cause of the nitrates in the well water and state that they have found the presence of herbicides and pesticides in the well water. They blame nearby dairies for allowing run off from their lands that also contribute to the contamination of their ground water. The state that the irrigation practices in the valley cause the contamination of the ground water that denies the residents of Seville a source of potable water. Their goal is to blame agriculture as source of contamination of ground water, surface water runoff, and the contamination of the delta so State, Federal, and soon, UN officials can create more regulations to make farming in the once great San Joaquin Valley impracticable. The State and Federal Government have already restricted the water availability to farming to the point that thousands of acres are no longer in production.
This is yet another example of where progressive advocates with agendas are using minorities to accentuate their points. In this case most of the minorities are most likely hispanic since this is an agricultural area. It should not matter who lives in Seville but rather what steps can be taken to make sure its residents have potable water. There are at least three possible solutions. One, drill another well and replace the existing conveyance systems. Two, bring water in from a neighboring community and replace the existing conveyance systems. Three, relocate the residents. The latter option is probably the best solution for the residents in the long-term. It eliminates any need for ongoing maintenance by either themselves or by Tulare County. There are several communities within a few miles of Seville that would suit this purpose.
Before you go off and say how heartless this solution is, keep this in mind. My family settled in South Dos Palos around 1890. At that time, Southern Pacific Railroad would park a water car on the side track and the families in the community would have to take their containers to the water car and fill them up. This was the only water they had and this lasted well into te 1930’s. They area did not really receive a secure source of water until the 1970’s when water from the City of Dos Palos was extended out to this outlying community. The residents could have moved and many did over the years to a city that could provide water and sewage. The bottom line though is not providing a better environment for the current residents of Seville. It is to make a political statement against the US using the UN and also to beat the drum that agriculture is ruining the ecology of the San Joaquin Valley.