Atlantic Editor Wonders If Maybe Immigration Has Something To Do With California’s Water Crisis

David Frum, a conservative pundit and senior editor at The Atlantic, wants to know why The New York Times isn’t putting more emphasis on immigration in its coverage of the California water crisis.

In a pair of tweets Friday, Frum criticized the Times for not including more references to the state’s “immigration-driven population surge” in its reporting on the crisis.

Population has grown by 10 mn people since 1990 – a 33% increase – almost all by immigration. Maybe that’s relevant? https://t.co/HwIf07ZAQs

— David Frum (@davidfrum) May 22, 2015

NYT has covered CA water crisis with scant reference to its immigration-driven population surge. That’s an omission https://t.co/nJmIPpbIGW

— David Frum (@davidfrum) May 22, 2015

The New York Times has, in fact, raised the question of how many people California can sustain given its water supply problems. But the paper has mainly attributed California’s water crisis to a four-year drought that has drastically reduced the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada. When the snowpack melts in the spring and summer, it typically supplies California with roughly one-third of the state’s water, according to the Associated Press.

The Times has also called attention to the role of California’s agricultural industry, which accounts for a huge amount of the state’s water use.

“California farmers produce more than a third of the nation’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts,” the Times wrote in an interactive feature published Thursday. “To do that, they must use nearly 80 percent of all the water consumed in the state.”

Peter Gleick, a climate scientist and the president of the Pacific Institute, an organization dedicated to environmental protection, dismissed Frum’s argument that immigration is a significant —> Read More

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