You know a bully when you see one. They use their strength and power to get their way or to influence an outcome. A bully can be a person, or an organization. In California’s on-going struggle over water, the biggest bully of them all is the Westlands Water District on the West side of the San Joaquin valley. We believe that in the last couple of years, the once mighty runs of wild salmon have been decimated by the self-righteous bulling tactics of the Westlands Water District. This Salmon Water Now video looks at the words and deeds of Westlands as they push for more and more water to be shipped south of the Delta to irrigate crops on problem soil. We see and hear the voices of Westlands and the politicians and media that have been carrying their messages — demanding that their need for water trumps all others. Along the way, we document the struggle of fishery managers trying to determine how many salmon are in the ocean (not many!).
We put the lie to the Westlands claims that reduced water deliveries have put America’s agricultural output in jeopardy. We contrast the record, surplus crops of tomatoes, and almonds shipped to China, against the low numbers of salmon that are sold domestically for $20 a pound. Something is not right. The Westlands Water District’s bullying tactics. Their unwillingness to be reasonable in the face of sound science regarding the health of the Delta and the need for balance is not right. It is not too late for Westlands to become good citizens. To accept their role in the tragic reality of wild salmon forced to the edge of extinction. It is not too late for Westlands to actually encourage balance and sharing of water. Will it happen? The odds are against the survival of salmon as long as the bullies of Westlands have their way. Watch the video and see for yourself. It is time to make what is wrong, right again. It is time for bullies to be dismissed for what they are. It is time for salmon water, now!