Junk science devastates farmworkers

This is truly ironic.  Tens of thousands of farm workers are out of work in California’s devastated central valley because enviros sued the feds to force stopping the pumping of irrigation water from the delta, supposedly because the delta smelt needed more water to survive.  Now it turns out the problem for the smelt was not too little water but pollution from wastewater treatment plants.  Tell it to the devastated farmlands and farm workers:

“A new study to be published in the academic journal Reviews in Fisheries Science recommends that efforts to restore the endangered California delta smelt and other declining pelagic fish should more sharply focus on reducing nutrient pollution to the species’ native waters. The research indicates these fish populations would greatly benefit from reductions in the amount of nitrogen flowing into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta from wastewater treatment plants and balancing the ratio of nitrogen and phosphorus contained in the discharged water.

“While a great deal of emphasis has been placed on ensuring there is enough water for delta smelt, we also need to recognize that the water also has to have the right chemical balance,” said Dr. Patricia Glibert of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. “The research shows us that reducing the amount of nitrogen from Bay-Delta wastewater treatment plants should aid the recovery of the delta smelt population. The high nutrient loads are affecting the algae at the base of the food web, which in turn, affect the food supply for the fish. This has altered the ecology of the system over many years.”

For her research, Dr. Glibert analyzed 30 years of water chemistry, river flow, plankton, fish population and effluent discharge data to determine possible linkages to the population of the delta smelt and other pelagic fish in the Bay-Delta system. The analysis reveals that declines in delta smelt population most closely coincide with effluent changes from the region’s major wastewater treatment plant.  …

The Bay-Delta is the subject of considerable national public awareness due to the sociopolitical and socioeconomic tension surrounding the plight of the endangered delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) and the court-ordered modifications of water diversion projects to protect the species.”  “New research links decline of endangered California delta smelt to nutrient pollution


2 Responses to “Junk science devastates farmworkers”

  1. MIguel Pescado Says:

    Isn’t “NITROGEN” the number 1 ingrediant in fetilizer? Are you sure you are pointing the finger in the correct direction…or at least make sure you have a mirror near by when you point.

  2. jblethen Says:

    You miss the point. The water pumping was stopped by enviro lawsuits based on the “science” that the smelt needed the water to survive. That was junk science.

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