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Rocker Moby Has Petition on California's Water Usage of Crops

Image: Rocker Moby Has Petition on California's Water Usage of Crops
Singer-songwriter, musician, and DJ Moby. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 28 May 2015 02:23 PM

Vegan rock musician Moby has entered the California drought crisis, with a petition demanding drastic changes in Golden State agricultural policies to address the state's shortage of water.

Another celebrity, "Star Trek" Captain James T. Kirk, actor William Shatner, has proposed construction of a $30 billion pipeline to pump water from usually wet Washington state to desperately dry California.

Now, Moby has launched a petition taking aim at what he considers overly thirsty crops in California's agricultural cornucopia, such as almonds, alfalfa, cotton, and beef, and asking that Gov. Jerry Brown change state agricultural policy and cut back water allocated to those water-intensive crops, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The petition states, "While private homes and municipalities, which account for less than 20% of California's annual water use, are already cutting back their water use, corporate agribusinesses, which use 80 percent of California's water, are growing more and more water-intensive crops and guzzling down our State's precious water supply.

"This is not sustainable, and it's not responsible."

Moby, whose real name is Richard Melville Hall and who relocated to California from his native New York just six years ago, told Forbes that his target crops, which he names the "worst water offenders," use "about 40 [percent] to 50 percent of California's water and contribute less than 1 percent to California's GDP (Gross Domestic Product)."

Claiming that it takes 800 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef and only 100 gallons to produce a pound of broccoli, he told Forbes, "You wonder why, in a state with limited water resources, is water being used for this? If you freed up the water that goes to cotton, alfalfa, beef, and almonds and let it be used by farmers growing more sustainable crops, you'd have a boom in agriculture."

The crops, he told Forbes, "should just not exist in places where there is no water. Go to Wisconsin to grow alfalfa. These things should not exist in the desert.

"California's water and tax dollars are being used to subsidize crops with no benefit to California's taxpayers. You wonder why anyone accepts that," he told Forbes.

"Whether Gov. Brown wants to change water policy or not, the change is going to have to happen," he told the Times.

The Almond Board of California struck back, with Richard Waycott, its chief executive, saying, "There's the perception out there that somehow we're just wasting water, and that's as far from the truth as can be. We're talking about food production here. We're taking our natural resource and creating something for the human diet, and doing it as efficiently as we can," the Times reported.

Brown has ordered California's cities to cut their water use by one-quarter over the next year and allowed farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to voluntarily cut back water use by the same amount, the Times reports.

Moby's petition states, "We ask that you work with the State Water Resources Control Board to manage our water responsibly: That means putting common sense restrictions on groundwater pumping, reining in corporate agribusiness and balancing our water budget. We ask that you realign our water needs with our water supply and create a new water system that can serve the state for the next 100 years or more."

The petition will be delivered to Brown when it reaches 100,000 signatures, the Times notes.

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Vegan rock musician Moby has entered the California drought crisis, with a petition demanding drastic changes in Golden State agricultural policies to address the state's shortage of water.
Moby, water, petition, California, crop, agricultural, beef, almonds, offenders
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2015-23-28
Thursday, 28 May 2015 02:23 PM
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