Dead from Marijuana Posioning
Last year was a wet Humboldt year. So why, right now, does the water level in the Eel look like that of a drought year? Michael Jakubal writes beautifully and informatively of this on his blog, One Good Year. The above is a graph of the water flow on the Eel as measured near Miranda. By mid August, the water flow has dropped below that of a normal year. Why?
Read what Michael has to say,
This year’s (blue) flow line starts high—approximately 150 CFS, or about 60% above the 71-year median—but drops suddenly at the end of July and falls to approximately 20% below the 71-year median measured, ending up at drought-year levels.
Between early June and mid-September, the levels drop even faster between Leggett and Miranda, plunging the river into a near-crisis situation for the fish downstream. The decrease in flow causes toxic algae blooms that make the river unsafe for children and pets, while pools protecting baby salmonids go dry in the upper reaches of the Eel’s tributaries. The only reasonable explanation is that the water is being mechanically withdrawn, while the only water use that has significantly increased in the SoHum area is that taken for the irrigation of marijuana gardens. Furthermore, the steepening slope of the blue line as the summer progresses is consistent with increasing plant growth and corresponding water needs, reducing the likelihood that the withdrawals are non-agricultural in character.
If you didn’t just get that, let me repeat: I believe that pot growers in northern Mendocino and southern Humboldt are largely responsible for the dewatering and toxification of our river.
His post, as always, is clear and cogent. You will follow his arguments easily and then end at the same inescapable conclusion that he does. I read this and cried.
This Thursday, the Schatz Energy Research Center, affiliated with HSU, invites everyone to join them to listen to Dr. Evan Mills discuss “The Carbon Footprint of Indoor Cannabis Production.” Humboldt is beautiful now. How much longer though will we all be responsible for the terrible damage marijuana is doing to our rivers and our air? We all benefit from marijuana money (Don’t pretend you don’t get any benefit. Yes, you do even if you’ve never seen a plant; the money that comes in provides greater variety of food in the grocery store, greater variety of entertainment, more businesses to choose from, more jobs, etc.) Now, we all need to find a solution.
Read Michael’s piece. Get informed. Get active. Let’s minimize the harm and maximize the benefits before the Eel and its watershed dies from Marijuana Poisoning.