California Farm Water Coalition
California’s water future going from bad to worse
Today’s announced cutbacks in water deliveries from the two major water supply systems in California are “making a bad situation even worse,” according to Mike Wade, executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition.
“Farmers were already looking at reduced water supplies caused primarily by federal regulations to protect fish in the Delta,” he said. “More than 800,000 acre-feet of water was taken earlier this year from farmers and folks who live in our cities because of the regulations.”
State Water Project officials had previously announced a 40 percent delivery of water to its users. Water deliveries from the Central Valley Project were even lower at 25 percent. Today’s announcements cut each of those deliveries by 5 percent.
“The announcements made earlier today are making a bad situation even worse,” Wade said. “California’s water delivery system is broken and action needs to be taken to fix it in order that people are not penalized from an unreliable system.
“A reliable water delivery system is one of the two goals of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). The other goal is restoration of the Delta ecosystem. The BDCP is the best option California has in reaching a secure water future.”
Wade noted that San Joaquin Valley farmers are already planning to leave thousands of acres unplanted during this growing season because of a dwindling water supply.
“When farmland goes unplanted, people lose jobs,” he added. “The loss to California’s economy is estimated to total $11 billion. This scenario will be repeated in the future if efforts are not taken to improve the current water delivery system through the Delta.”