California Farm Bureau Supports Senate Bill to Address Water Crisis

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farm-bureau-logoWith farmers and ranchers struggling against drought and subsequent water shortages, the president of the California Farm Bureau Federation said he welcomes Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s legislation tackling the state’s water crisis. Feinstein introduced legislation today that will increase the availability of water for farmers and other water users, as well as provide immediate drought relief for livestock ranchers.

“Senator Feinstein’s legislation addresses a drought that could reach historic proportions,” CFBF President Paul Wenger said. “Drought hits farmers and ranchers first and hardest, so we support a bill that addresses the immediate needs of those facing critical water shortages.”

Wenger noted that the House of Representatives passed a bill last week authored by Central Valley congressional members, and led by Rep. David Valadao, addressing critical water issues made more acute by the drought.

“We hope the House and Senate can work together to craft a bipartisan solution that will both help with immediate water challenges and address the long-term need for additional water storage,” he said.

“If we don’t add aboveground storage, we will lose the ability to replenish storage in our underground aquifers,” Wenger said. “Adding both aboveground and underground storage would bring more flexibility to a California water system stretched beyond its limits by population growth, environmental requirements, climate change and other forces.

“As we work with our representatives in Washington toward solutions, we will continue to discuss how the state government can move forward to develop new storage to benefit our people and our environment,” he said.

The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 78,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 6.2 million Farm Bureau members.