Washington’s “Emergency Drought” Pushes Rivers toward Flood Conditions
It always rains in Washington, even during extreme droughts.
In yesterday’s editorial, I wrote about the “emergency drought” Gov. Jay Inslee’s Dept. of Ecology declared over parts of Washington State, including particularly the county I live in, telling what a lie that declaration and the stories about it were. My county was, in fact, the main one featured in the two articles that I included in the news headlines (Washington state declares drought emergencies in a dozen counties , Some Whatcom County wells have gone dry as state declares a drought emergency for area ):
A drought emergency was declared in a dozen counties of Washington state on Monday because of early snowmelt, a lack of spring rain and low-flowing streams.
Some wells in Whatcom County in the northwestern part of the state are dry.
(You can see how low the swollen river is above.)
Of course, Inslee’s little helpers could not resist blaming this emergency drought on climate change as they underscored how harmful the drought has been:
“This drought is already harming Washington communities, businesses and farms, and it’s another sign of the damage that climate change is causing to our state,” Ecology Director Laura Watson said in the statement, adding that the state needs to prepare for a drier future.
(Actually, what is harming farms is the Dept. of Ecology that desperately wants to wrest their water rights away from them.)
I’ve many times thought, One of these days, one of these big weather stories that sounds exaggerated is going to take place where I live, and then I’ll see up close and personal how exaggerated it is. Well, yesterday was my lucky day. One of the towns named in those stories as being the worst hit is less than ten miles down the river from where I live. Pretty sure they get the same water I do plus a little more from a few streams between here and there.
So, I said yesterday that, as soon as I finished writing my morning editorial, I’d go down to the river to see if the river was still as high above normal for this time of year as it was two days before when I drove over it. Here is what I found:
It was raining during the drought in which I took the photo. As you can see the gravel bars that normally show up along the shoals of the river by this time of year are almost completely covered. The river is muddy because of all the runoff from the the past day of rain, and the water level is right up to the bottoms of the bushes along the banks of the river the branches stop at the river’s normal high-water mark during the winter and spring months. You know those don’t lie. The bushes stop where the water normally starts near its normal high-water level.
So, that is our “emergency drought.” Just so you know that Jay Inslee would never lie about climate change, here are a couple of pictures of the parched countryside, showing the farms Ecology says have been “harmed” by this emergency drought, immediately to the north and south sides of the “low river”:
You can see how dried-up the countryside is becoming now that our county has been declared by the governor to be under emergency drought conditions that were blamed on “climate change.” Any more change like this, and we’ll be underwater, and they’ll have to claim, as they have so often in the past, that the flooding due to climate change.
Addressing why our governor and local McClatchy Media newspaper would lie like this when the truth is rather obviously against them, I noted that I talked just two days before this story broke with a guy named Mark Stremler who just entered the county council race as a first-time politician, and he said the reason he decided to enter is because he lives in out in those very farmlands I photographed above and he’s tired of the Dept. of Ecology in this state and county trying to shut down farmers by stripping away the water rights they have had since the state was founded, which have made those lush family farms what they are and nourished the life and culture they foster in this farm community.
So, why is Inslee’s government trying so hard to strip water rights away from farmers (and everyone else). Well, I noted those wells that are running dry are running dry in an area of extreme over-development that is happening for the sake of making developers and contractors rich by stacking thousands of homes into former farmlands to help with our enormous influx of immigrants. (Something I shouldn’t talk honestly about because that must mean I hate immigrants, rather than am just very put out by overpopulation.)
In fact, two of the three water districts that are mentioned as running dry and needing to dig deeper wells are the districts that have seen extraordinary housing development during the past ten years. Imagine that! Is it any wonder their wells are not keeping up? It is not the weather that changed in that time; it is the booming population with its high consumption plus the corresponding blockage of water by impermeable roofs, roads and driveways over what used to be open fields and woods. (But no one wants to blame development.) I assure you that over the last ten years I have experienced every bit as much rain and snow in this county as always, including record floods and snowpacks (also blamed entirely on “human-caused climate change”).
However, this is a win-win for Inslee. He can score climate virtue points with those who elected him, and he can aggregate more power over water rights to his Dept. of Ecology so the state can control humans and climate factors. Actually, make it a triple-win because he can also free up money for rich developers to continue taking more water, and they probably fund his campaigns handsomely.
So, if you take the “follow the money” approach to understanding why the wells are actually running dry and why this is such an emergency, those things might be your answer.
The emergency declaration allows state officials to curb water use and makes available $3 million that can be granted out to communities, irrigation districts, tribes and others hurt by the drought.
I’m sure the money granted will help those developers or their water districts drill the deeper wells the articles say are needed so that further development can continue.
The other possibility that stands out, as I noted yesterday, was that Jay Inslee is building his life on fighting “man-made climate change” and even ran for president against Joe Biden with that as practically the only plank in his platform. This is the narrative he personally loves!
“Climate change is making warm, dry summers more frequent, and droughts more severe,” said Ria Berns, manager of Ecology’s Water Resources Program. “What we’re seeing this year is likely a sign of things to come.”
Inslee is tearing out green hydroelectric projects in the state to save the salmon. In denial of reality, Inslee is also mandating that Washington go entirely to electric vehicles in just a few years (to keep up with California’s thinking). So, maybe he wants to cover those lush, oxygen-producing, food-producing, wild-animal foraging farmlands with solar panels that kill the earth beneath them or nuclear reactors because I don’t know where the power for EVs will be coming from — other than dreams and delusions — as the state continues to stack in more housing developments on many of those farmlands.
To save the salmon, Inslee is replacing culverts all over this county and the state with bridges that typically cost $1.5-million dollars to build and block traffic for months. I’m pretty sure the height of the river this late in an “emergency drought” is as much proof as you need to know there is plenty of water there for the farmers and the salmon to be happy together and to supply the towns if they stop trying their hardest to grow forever. (I also highly doubt that culverts were as responsible for salmon deaths as has been declared by Ecology because I have watched steelhead trout pass through them while I was fishing as easily as they passed by my lure! I’m sure the salmon are just as capable.)
Inslee is building his bridges over streams that never had salmon in them during the 60+ years I lived here. I’ve talked to older people who live near the streams – never any salmon there. I’m sure Inslee’s college brain trust in Ecology has theorized there once were salmon in those tiny creeks based on their college theories because theories always beat common sense or local history in political planning. At any rate, money is no object, especially if you can free up more with emergency drought declarations.
Inslee’s liberal acolytes regularly demonize the farms for polluting this river; however, our farmers have been extremely conscious in the last two decades about controlling run-off, and is there really anyone dumb enough to believe that the hundred homes they build over the top of a single farm when the farmer retires and sells out to a developer have less damaging runoff from their chemically treated lawns and flower beds and from their asphalt driveways and asphalt roofs or that not letting any of that water percolate and filter naturally into the ground because it hits roofs and asphalt so it has to enter the river as surface runoff is somehow less damaging than a well-managed, grassy farm on a 80 acres?
The farm hurts the environment the liberal city dwellers yell out. Really? I’ve seen a lot more birds, deer, coyotes, hawks, and eagles foraging on those fields regularly than I see in developments! Are they as good as virgin forests? Maybe not. But they are a darn sight more ecology-friendly than developments!
As a result of all the overdevelopment that is doing its best politically and physically to suck water away from the farmers (destroying an entire cultural way of life in this county that some of the city-folk who elect Inslee seem to despise), we also now have, for the first decade ever, a freeway that is regularly choked with rush-hour traffic! I’m sure that is good for the environment and explains why Inslee now NEEDS to decree that the state switch entirely to electric vehicles ahead of building up the electrical grid. That kind of traffic was unheard of in this county all my life, except during construction and accidents, until the last few years.
So, why do we keep accepting more and more migrants, as the liberals also love to do, to stack in more and more people to build more and more houses … forever? When can we say, instead of blaming “emergency droughts” to suck needed water away from farmers … simply, “We’re full now?” Nobody wants to deal with raw truth. We’re simply full now, and need to stop development while we still do have enough water, or we’ll have to start piping it in from California. Of course, that means seriously limiting immigration. We would rather pretend we can increase our human population forever without harm to the environment than deal with the real cause — human population expansion concentrated in this area. We certainly don’t want to deal with it now while we still have a chance of avoiding a worse decline in everyone’s standard of living and in the environment.
There is no doubt this particular “emergency drought” was man-made, but it wasn’t by humans exhausting too much carbon into the air or by the cows belching and farting out in those fields of green. It was by one man named Inslee and his Ecology parishioners who made it up in order to create a quick tie-in with all the other drought/heat-dome stories flooding the news right now to use it to push their heated climate agenda.
Western Washington, I’ll note, lies on the very outlying edge of the major southern heat dome where the temperature colors on the map turn back to just one shade above normal. So, that heat dome is barely even part of the story here. As I wrote yesterday, we had an above-average snowpack this year, and have had very deep snowpacks almost every year, with a few normal exceptions, throughout the time we have been hearing about human-made climate change. This year was quite good in terms of snowpack.
So, our problem is from piling in too many people with competing demands for water and not being willing to deal with that reality. Instead, the city folk want the farmers to take the brunt of pain to make room for continued development, just like they do down in California because they all apparently believe their food grows on grocery-store shelves.
In case you doubt me about our weather-hyping press and politicians, let me provide one more picture of the “low river” named in yesterday’s articles about the emergency drought declaration – this time a photo of the water climbing up the side of the flood gauge beside the bridge I mentioned driving over as the water reaches the plants that normally grow above river’s water line:
Hey, at least the emergency drought hasn’t caused the river to crest above flood stage yet! So, that’s good news! But it has a good start, having had only a single day of rain (as of the time I took the photo) since the emergency drought was declared.
However, even in emergency droughts, there is hope:
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(Headlines related to this editorial appear in boldface type below. Note California and China — once a champion of reduced population growth — worrying about their declining populations because they do not know how to create a vibrant economy without population growth forever. They should be thankful, especially CA since it clearly does not have anywhere near enough water or energy or freeways for the extreme population it already has. As for that tornado over the Capital, it’s a shame it missed. Note also that Manhattan is “preparing to sizzle” under temps that have not been this high since … “a year ago.” Yes, Manhattan has not seen this kind of summer heat since last summer!)
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