After the federal Central Valley Project reported today it expects to deliver only 65 percent of contract water supplies to its agricultural water contractors south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger said the announcement shows how operation of the state’s water system remains in need of an overhaul.
“In the alternate universe of California water, we can have floods, full reservoirs and a huge snowpack and still not have full water supplies. It boggles the mind,” Wenger said.
“Operation of our water system remains out of whack. We need to continue efforts to improve and expand the system,” he said. “In Congress, passage of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act last year marked an important step in addressing the system’s inadequacies. Congress must now follow through with measures such as Rep. David Valadao’s Gaining Responsibility on Water Act, which would offer longer-term ability to store and move water.”
Wenger said farmers and ranchers will also press Congress to modernize endangered-species laws, “to balance the goals of environmental restoration with the ability to provide the resources needed to grow food and farm products.”
At the state level, he said, California must move as quickly as possible to invest money from the Proposition 1 water bond into storage projects that provide the state with more ability to store water in wet winters such as this.
“Improved storage capacity, both above and below ground, is crucial to California’s long-term ability to withstand droughts, protect against floods and gain the flexibility needed to allow people and the environment to thrive,” Wenger said.
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of more than 48,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 6.2 million Farm Bureau members.