Lloyd Carter, an attorney in Fresno, California has taught water law at
San Joaquin College of Law. For more than two decades he served as a
prize-winning reporter for United Press International and the Fresno Bee
in Fresno and San Francisco. He continues to speak out and write op-ed
pieces on California water issues. He won the best environmental
coverage award from the San Francisco Press Club for his stories on the
poisoning of the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge in the mid 1980s.
He is currently on the board of the non-profit watchdog water group California Save Our
He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com
In his fourth episode of Tales of
the Hydraulic Brotherhood, California water expert and writer Lloyd
Carter talks about the ecological crisis facing the San Francisco
Bay-Delta estuary in the long hot summer of 2007. Los Angeles is
experiencing its driest year on record and increasing water exports of
Northern California water from the Delta to San Joaquin Valley farms and
Southern California have caused the collapse of the Delta's fishery. The
three-inch Delta Smelt, a critical part of the Delta fishery food chain,
is teetering on the brink of extinction. Experts say it could be the
beginning of what may become "the Perfect Drought." A Congressional
subcommittee overseeing federal water policy recent held a field hearing
in the Bay Area to gather information on what some experts say is a
catastrophe waiting to happen.
In his third episode of Tales of the Hydraulic Brotherhood, California water expert Lloyd Carter talks about the threat posed by the trace element selenium
to farmland, rivers, wetlands and wildlife in the western United States.
Using the selenium poisoning of the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge
in the early 1980s as an example, Carter shows how little has been done
by the federal government or state governments to halt selenium
contamination caused by irrigation and mining activities.
In his second installment of "Tales of the Hydraulic Brotherhood"
California writer and water expert Lloyd Carter talks about the enormous
water and crop subsidies flowing in disproportionate amounts to huge
factories in the field in Central California's irrigation country. While
California big agribusiness operations hide behind the "family farmer"
label, they continue to rake in half a billion dollars a year in
taxpayer money, according to reports by the Environmental Working Group.
Surprisingly, conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and
the Cato Institute, also favor major reform of the farm and water
subsidy system now in place.
In his first podcast of "Tales of the Hydraulic Brotherhood" California
water expert Lloyd Carter talks about the Westlands Water District, at
942 square miles the largest and most politically powerful federal water
district in America.
Westlands has a drainage problem caused by selenium, a trace element
inherent in the soils of the western San Joaquin Valley in Central
California, the nation's most productive farming region. Drainage water
from Westlands poisoned ducks and shorebirds at the Kesterson National
Wildlife Refuge in the mid 1980s triggering national headlines.
Now Westlands wants to take over solving the drainage problem from the
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in exchange for forgiveness of a half billion
dollar debt the water district owes the federal government AND control
of the Bureau's state water permit which is annually worth $500 million.
Lloyd Carter, veteran journalist and observer of California water
politics, offers his monthly assessment of the current hot issues in
California's Water World.
Listen to "Down in the Valley" live on the second friday of every month at 3 p.m. Pacific Time on Radio KFCF 88.1 FM, Fresno, California.
In his September, 2010 radio show, Lloyd Carter discusses a lawsuit
filed by a weathy farming clan which claims efforts to restore the San
Joaquin River in California are harming their farmlands adjacent to the
In his June, 2010 monthly radio show California water activist Lloyd
Carter interviews Jared Blumenfeld, director of EPA's Region 9
(California, Nevada, Arizona, Pacific Islands). Among the issues
discussed are the recent spate of birth defects in a poor community next
to a toxic waste site in Central California and the continuing decline
of California's Delta.
In his December 2009 radio show, California water activist Lloyd Carter
interviews Chris Acree, executive director of the non-profit group
Revive the San Joaquin, about historic efforts to restore
California's second largest river, the San Joaquin, six decades after
the river was dried up to add new farmland in the eastern San Joaquin
In his Novermber radio show, Lloyd Carter talks about the recently
approved bills in the California Legislature which call for an $11.1
billion bond measure that could lead the way to construction of two
large dams and a controversial "peripheral canal" to funnel Northern
California water to Southern California, bypassing the ecologically
fragile Delta region. Grassroots environmental groups, taxpayer groups,
and some farming interests fiercely oppose the bond measure.
This month Lloyd interviews Patrick Porgans, a Sacramento consultant who
has been following California water politics for nearly four decades.
Porgans has expertise on the financing of the State Water Project.
In his April 10, 2009 monthly radio show, California water expert Lloyd
Carter discusses how growers in the Western San Joaquin Valley gambled
big and lost by planting over 120,000 acres of permanent crops (trees
and vines) on land formerly used for annual vegetable crops. Now that
drought haunts California and water supplies to the Western valley has
been cut to near zero, growers are scrambling to keep their orchards
alive. Carter also discusses a grower-organized protest march of
farmworkers sponsored by the California Latino Water Coalition.
In his February 2009 radio show, Lloyd Carter talks about the firestorm
of reaction to his television comments on farmworker poverty and social
unrest. Was he set up by the TV reporter, a farm subsidy recipient and
member of a prominent farming family in the San Joaquin Valley?
In his January 2009 monthly radio show, Lloyd Carter discusses pending
legislation in Congress to restore flows in the dewatered San Joaquin
River, following a 20-year court battle, and Gov. Schwarzenegger's grand
scheme to build a controversial peripheral canal around the Bay-Delta
estuary to transport Northern California river water south to mega-farms
in the western San Joaquin Valley.
In his October 2008 monthly radio show, Lloyd interviews University of California San Diego professor Steven P. Erie about Erie's book "Beyond Chinatown: The Metropolitan Water District, Growth, and the Environment in Southern California."
Metropolitan, or Met, as it is known is the 800-pound gorilla in Southern California's desert civilization and it faces daunting challenges in the coming decades.
In his August 8, 2008, monthly radio show "Down in the Valley"
California journalist and commentator Lloyd Carter interviews Susana De
Anda, co-executive director of the Community Water Center in Visalia,
CA. De Anda says thousands of farm workers and poor people in the San
Joaquin Valley, the nation's richest farming region, do no have access
to clean drinking water.
In his July 2008 monthly radio show, California water politics activist
Lloyd Carter discusses the proposal by Governor Schwarzenegger to place
a $9.3 billion bond on the November ballot which discusses funding for
two highly controversial large dams.
In his February 2008 radio show, Lloyd discusses the intensive lobbying
of California Senator Dianne Feinstein to support a proposed $12 Billion
California water bond measure being pushed by Agribusiness and Southern
California development interests. The proposal includes the construction
of two more large dams in California and construction of a controversial
"Peripheral Canal" around the Bay-Delta estuary which is bitterly
opposed by Northern Californians and environmentalists. Lloyd also
discusses the collapse of the salmon fishery in California the past
In his December, 2007 radio show, "Down in the Valley", California water
expert Lloyd Carter discusses a proposed $11.6 billion dollar bond
initiative measure that the California Chamber of Commerce and the
California Farm Bureau Federation hope to put on the statewide ballot in
November of 2008. The proposed initiative calls for new dams and a
"peripheral canal" to pump Northern California water around the
problem-plagued Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to Southern California.
Carter warns this will set off another north-south water war in
California. Carter also discusses other items of current interest in
California's water world.
This month show's top issue is a proposal by the nation's largest
federal irrigation water district, the mammoth Westlands Water District,
to garner 15 trillion gallons of California's precious water over the
next 60 years. That water has a potential value on the retail market of
$20 to $40 billion dollars although Westlands will be buying that water
for perhaps 15-20 percent of its true market value.