Growers Speak at Water Hearing

Taylor HillmanGeneral, Water

A group of Central California growers are now waiting to hear if their testimony at a public hearing in Sacramento will make a difference when it comes to their water supply. Sabrina Hill reports.
Click to open or download audio report.

A busload of growers traveled to Sacramento to speak at a public hearing on their water supply. The state wants to further limit the supply to Merced, Turlock and Modesto irrigation districts. The plan would leave only a 35 percent flow in the rivers, in an effort to improve wildlife habitat.

Growers are already dealing with a dry year, and the California snowpack is at about half of where it should be for this time of year. The weakened water supply would likely mean a loss of crops and jobs, and another hit to local economies; however proponents of the plan say it would strengthen fish populations.

The state water board is reviewing its options and is not expected to make a decision until this fall.