Is the governor’s drought declaration enough for the state’s struggling farmers? Sabrina Hill reports.
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It was the cry that preceded the governor’s state of emergency declaration late last week. Just a day after a passionate rally for water on the steps of the state capitol, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency. But is that enough?
According to General Manager for the Westlands Water District, Tom Birmingham, the Governor’s declaration will help mitigate the drought’s negative impacts for Valley families, but he says it is does not address the larger problem of chronic water supply shortages.
Birmingham says the current disaster facing the San Joaquin Valley, indeed all of California, is just further evidence that we must invest in new water supply infrastructure, including storage and conveyance, to sustain the state’s economy and we must fix problems in the Delta.
In the Westlands alone, it’s estimated that more than 200,000 acres of farmland will not be planted this year due to the drought, which will likely have major economic impacts on local economies.