Today, the state Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced the formation of a Drought Management Team to prepare for and reduce potential impacts of what is expected to be a third straight dry year in 2014.
Among DWR’s principal concerns is the plight of farmers who must operate with markedly less water than needed for crops. Especially vulnerable to dry conditions will be farmers and the farm communities that depend on agricultural jobs on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.
In its announcement, DWR also touted a January 7, 2014 meeting of the California Board of Food and Agriculture, the State Water Resources Board (SWRCB) and DWR that will discuss additional actions needed by the state to address drought conditions and impacts.
DWR is working with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the SWRCB to expedite transfers of water from areas with relative abundance to locations with critical water needs.
To supplement the water transfer program, DWR is working with the Bureau of Reclamation and the federal and state wildlife agencies to improve Delta operations next summer to enhance water delivery capability while meeting endangered species protections.
Director Mark Cowin recognized that there will be regional impacts due to dry conditions next year and that January and February snow surveys will allow DWR to evaluate water conditions on a statewide basis, allowing for actions to be included in a potential governor’s drought action proclamation down the road.
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