Despite years of increasing water pumping rampdowns ordered by the Superior
Court under the Mojave Basin Adjudication upon the stipulated farmers, the water table of the
Mojave Valley continues to realize overdraft; in large part due to the unsustainable water
pumping of the largest alfalfa farmers.
Residents are now having to pay the extreme high costs of drilling
new deeper wells due to the dropping of the water table. To add salt to the wound,
many farmers are now intentionally failing to be good stewards of the land.
Some major alfalfa farmers are hauling in thousands of tons of
Nursery Products' toxic sewer sludge and spreading it upon their fields as fertilizer.
Even pistachio farmers are guilty of importing the toxic material. This is
exactly the same stuff that is so dangerous that it has been globally banned for dumping into
the oceans and contributing waterways.
Once dumped and spread upon land, many of the toxic elements in sludge
leach into the soil and remain for centuries, contamining the water supply.
This is highly serious and the farmers are consciously importing the
contaminants without consideration for the health and well being of the community.
Already, the water supply in some areas of Newberry Springs, such as Newberry Road and
Fairview, reportedly have high levels of nitrates from nearby farming. Now the
farmers are going for a higher contamination of the soil.
As more Newberrians are becoming aware as to the seriousness of the situation,
there is a small but growing call for suspension of sewer sludge imports; including calls to have
farmers remove the topsoil of their sludge infested land before toxic elements can reach the
A boycott of all products grown on land with a previous application of
sewage sludge is being considered through social media. This has national implications
of a massive database with certification of sludge-free produced products.
The quickest action for cessation of further contamination in Newberry Springs
is community support of the
Mojave Desert Resource Conservation District's
proposal to cease Mojave Valley alfalfa farming as part of the
Baja Sustainability Plan.
public meeting on the plan
is scheduled for September 17, 2014. Some of the "Tier 1" proposals to buyout farmers'
water rights, crop replacement, or a serious increase in water production rampdowns, are looking
increasingly better to the community as overdraft remedies, which would also address the farmers'
greedy financial rewards for contaminating the land.