A group of more than 70 agricultural organizations is asking Governor Gavin Newsom to bring about more certainty for California’s water supply. The coalition is urging the Newsom Administration to reconsider how the water system is being managed both in terms of regulatory restraint and litigation related to the federal biological opinions.
“I think there are two primary areas of focus of the letter. One is encouraging the Newsom Administration to work cooperatively with the federal government and work on water management and find some agreement and common ground when it comes to solving problems,” said Mike Wade, Executive Director of the California Farm Water Coalition (CFWC). “The other major issue deals with our infrastructure. We have no invested well in our infrastructure for decades and repairing and improving some of our water conveyance infrastructure is important.”
The signatories of the letter include the California Farm Bureau Federation, Milk Producers Council, Western Agricultural Processors Association, Central Valley Project Water Association, and the Ag Council of California. The letter itself states that “where possible, rules that limit farm water supplies should be suspended, modified, or postponed during this critical time.” The coalition is hopeful that the spirit of cooperation among local, state, and federal authorities cultivated in the collaborative approach to address COVID-19 concerns can translate into the development of a better working relationship when it comes to California’s water supply.
“There seems to be a lot of willingness to work together to solve some of the current crises that we’re facing in day to day life and we hope that that does transition to other parts of the business world and the economy and a huge part of that for agriculture, of course, is water,” Wade noted. “Having adequate, dependable water supplies provides certainty for farmers and it provides certainty to consumers who trust that the foods that they want for their families are being planted for the coming fall and winter seasons.”