Letter: ‘Thirsty’ California could take our water under ‘NAFTA-plus’

So, which will it be?…Ruin our own chances of growing future food…send our water south, or attempt to make ourselves more self-sufficient…?

To the editor:

Listening to the dry cough from nearly 40 million thirsty Californians makes me nervous with respect to our water resources.  A dry California also makes me rethink our topsoil and preserving our limited farm land, especially in the ideal climates for growing foods.

Here, in the Okanagan, our people have been so busy building homes and businesses as well as expanding roads etc., that our available farm land is slowly being chewed away. California also supplies much of our food stuffs so maybe we should be preserving our farm land with respect to a halt or slow down of food supplies to Canada from California.

The latest piece of most ideal farm land in Kelowna is under pressure to be released from the land reserve so a well-known developer can build many condominiums and 200,000 sq. ft. of more retail space (we have plenty in Kelowna). Our city fathers were in favour of this release with one councillor speaking on the radio saying, “the 25 acres is no good for farming due to the lack of access.”  How can lack of access make it good for development?

Will California, with due respect to the articles in NAFTA-plus, now demand Canadian water be diverted south to their farms and swimming pools?

So, which will it be?  Food from California, ruin our own chances of growing future food by building on our farm land, send our water south, attempt to make ourselves more self-sufficient, or shall we just sit on our rears and let time tell us what it will be?

Why do you think NAFTA-plus has a water clause? It is because we have the water, they need it and if we do not wake up, they will take it.  Once the water is flowing south, there will be no turning back or restrictions on the amount.

If you believe oil, gas and electricity is important, think again, water outweighs them all by a million times. Ripping up farm land at this pace is a form of self harm, we do not think long-term, we think for now. Water conservation can also  be accomplished by new thinking i.e.: using “used” water for irrigation etc. A thirsty man is more dangerous than a hungry man.

Jorgen Hansen, Kelowna


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