Farmers in California's Central Valley Project enjoy stable water supplies that result from engineering dominance over nature. Hydraulic infrastructure in the form of large dams, pumps, and aqueducts provides for the commodification of water and the development of intensive agricultural production throughout the Central Valley. Sustaining this level of production requires the de-prioritization of water quality and the health of protected fish. As ecological conditions spiral downward, fishery protection advocates are pressuring the federal government to re-allocate farm water towards the enhancement of river ecosystems. While navigating a severe hydrologic drought, farmers are forced to adapt to what they see as government based, environmental interventions on their water supply. Using a political ecology framework, this case study contributes to the existing body of work on natural resource conflicts in the American West. It argues that one powerful agricultural water district, unlike the ranching, timber production, and mining industries, exerts economic and political influence to challenge and overcome environmental protection objectives prescribed by the government's resource protection agencies.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 51/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Geography, Agricultural economics, Water Resource Management|
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