Thursday, March 28, 2013


WHO IS THE REAL CONSERVATIONIST, MEXICO OR THE US?
 - FACTS BEHIND THE WAR FOR WATER

All items in quotes are from the US National Park Service concerning Lake Mead

"Lake Mead stores Colorado River water for delivery to farms, homes and businesses in southern Nevada, Arizona, southern California and northern Mexico. About 96 percent of the water in Lake Mead is from melted snow that fell in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming."

"The water level in Lake Mead is lower than it has been in over 40 years. The water is going down because the Colorado River runoff over the last decade starting in 1998 has been far below normal."

"there has been more water going out of Lake Mead over the past decade starting in 1998 than there has been coming into the lake. This causes the elevation to drop a little more each year."

This is the core of the problem between the US and Mexico concerning the water problems.  With massive population increases over the last 40 years, Lake Mead which feeds our water system is at its lowest.  Do we just use it all up to satisfy the farmers who are pressuring the politicians?

THE CONCEPT OF CONSERVATION IN TEXAS IS AN OXYMORON

The fishing industry demanded the right to over fish the Gulf of Mexico.  Not long ago you could get all you could eat grouper anywhere.  Today it does not exist.  There is something profoundly wrong with the fact all you can eat fish on the Gulf of Mexico is pollock from Alaska.  We are doing the same thing to the shrimp.  To keep the fishing industry from totally killing off Red Snapper the federal government had to intervene.

Between unregulated fishing, oil, and nitrates coming down the Mississippi polluting the Gulf, it is rapidly becoming a dead zone. Texas' response - keep regulation out of Texas.

If Mexico were to cave to the demands of the US concerning the release of water to US farmers, what happens when the water runs out?   The US government is not going to release more water from Lake Mead just because Texas is reckless in its conservation policies.  It is sad to say, but Mexico appears more  concerned with the long term problems associated with the water shortage than Texas.

THERE IS A SOLUTION,
BUT THIS IS TEXAS

Hemp

"Cotton is the big loser, once again, when it comes to water. The cotton plant needs about 50 percent more water per season than hemp, which can grow with little irrigation. (It's so prolific that the overwhelming majority (PDF) of cannabis plants uprooted by the Drug Enforcement Administration every year are a wild relative of hemp. It's no coincidence they call the stuff weed.) Cotton also tends to be grown in parts of the world where water is scarce. More than one-half of the world's cotton fields rely on irrigation, because it grows in some relatively dry regions, like Egypt, China's Xinjiang province, California, and Texas."

Source:  Slate - quoting study

All over the US hemp farming is expanding, but not in Texas.  This is the most natural solution to a major part of our water problems.  It will not solve them, but it will help a lot.  The current hemp production is under a federal program.  But as I type I learn today, March 28, 2013. Kentucky voted to allow its farmers to grow hemp.  See story

JOBS

Hemp manufacturing can be done on wind energy, which is now all over the gulf coast.  With robotics the center of manufacturing, the LRGV can become the hemp capital of the US in terms of growing hemp and manufacturing jobs.

BUT ALAS - this is Texas - our politicians will demand more federal aid while denouncing the federal government as being too involved in our government.  If Texas is unwilling to take action to deal with its water shortages, then why should the federal taxpayer care?

IT MAY NOT MATTER THIS IS TEXAS

"February 15, 2013 – The two-page ‘‘Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013’’ has been introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate with strong bi-partisan support. The bills have a simple objective: legalize what once was a valuable U.S. crop by establishing that “The term ‘marihuana’ does not include industrial hemp” and amending the 1970 federal Controlled Substances Act “to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marihuana.”


The current U.S. drug policy ruling is that all cannabis varieties, including industrial hemp, are treated as Schedule I controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act."

Source:

Congressman Vela has a good ear to the ground on issues related to farming.  He needs to consult with the farmers to see if they will back him up if he supports this Bill.  The passage of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, could be an economic boom for the LRGV, while solving a big part of our water shortage problem.

BUT IT DOES NOT END THERE

Texas must take the initiative and build more dams along the Rio Grande - the Weir Dam should be the number one initiative along these lines.  I can assure you, the Brownsville city commission will not even consider the issue.  Mayor Tony Martinez will simply demand they release more water from Lake Mead and hope for the best.

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