Statement by CEO/Executive Director Ryan Jacobsen:
“Today’s announcement of an initial 0 percent water allocation for Fresno County’s East (Friant) and West side federal water contractors will greatly affect its $6.44 billion agriculture industry.
“In 2014, with the release of the 2013 Fresno County Crop and Livestock Report, the county dropped from its number one position as the leading agricultural county in the nation to number three. This drop was largely due to the lack of water supply available to Fresno County farmers.
“This allocation will force farmers to idle a large amount of acreage and bulldoze crops, which would have generated jobs, created value-added food products that stimulate significant economic activity for the county and region, as well as a safe, wholesome, affordable food supply for consumers throughout the United States and abroad.
“Regulatory restrictions have negatively impacted water availability. Though Mother Nature has been dry, rain and snow have fallen and been available for distribution. This water year, we’ve already lost 318,345 acre-feet, and that number will only continue to rise.
“Fresno County Farm Bureau calls for all farmers and Valley communities to push for additional surface water and groundwater storage; improved conveyance through the state, specifically in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta; and a return to common-sense water policies that bring back into balance water allocated for food production, municipal and rural communities, the economy and the environment.”
Background: The Central Valley Project (CVP) is a federal water management project under the supervision of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Locally, it affects Fresno County-based districts such as Westlands, Panoche and San Luis water districts and Tranquillity and James irrigation districts, as well as other districts along the Valley’s west side and the Friant Unit on the east side.
Media availability in reaction to the Bureau of Reclamation’s announcement of federal Central Valley Project surface water availabilities
What: Representatives from the community will be available to speak with the media regarding the Bureau of Reclamation’s announcement of the federal Central Valley Project surface water availabilities.
When: Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 11 a.m.
Where: Fresno County Farm Bureau 1274 W. Hedges Ave. Fresno, CA 93728
Representatives will also be available for phone interviews. If possible, please schedule with FCFB ahead of time.
Who: Representatives from:
– Agricultural Organizations
– Agricultural Water Districts
– Community and Education Leaders