Water Meeting Next Week

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A meeting coming up next week will focus on California’s water situation. Sabrina Hill reports.
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The California State Board of Food and Agriculture and the California Water Commission will hold a joint meeting concerning the state’s water supply on Tuesday. California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross says the state needs work proactively with farmers and ranchers to address groundwater overdraft and water transfers – providing a level of reliability over the next few years. She says California’s current water situation spells uncertainty for agricultural interests throughout this state.

Back in May, Governor Brown issued an Executive Order to streamline approvals for water transfers to protect California’s farms. The order was in response to the very dry conditions occurring within the state. Right now, water allocations for this year remain low with only 35 percent of requested amounts through the State Water Project and 20 percent of requested amounts through the federal Central Valley Project. Even if the coming winter provides a normal wet year, growers throughout the state are preparing for a reduced water supply as nine of the State’s major reservoirs are below historic average levels, and six of them are below 50 percent total capacity.

The meeting will provide a forum for agricultural stakeholders, water representatives, and government officials to discuss California’s water situation and make recommendations to the state board. A number of speakers are anticipated, including representatives from the Association of California Water Agencies, California Farm Water Coalition, the Central California Irrigation District, California Natural Resources Agency, and several farming operations.

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