Last Friday, a coalition of more than 75 California agricultural organizations pressed on Governor Gavin Newsom to recognize the significance of the food supply in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and to consider the importance of a reliable water supply in growing the food that our communities require.
“Making sure farmers have the water to grow next year’s food supply is as important as making sure grocery store shelves are stocked today,” the group noted in the letter.
The coalition called on Governor Newsom to, “find creative and balanced means to maximize water supplies for farmers,” and to suspend, modify for postpone rules that limit farm water supplies.
Furthermore, the group urged Newsom’s administration to work cooperatively with the federal administration on water management in critical watersheds where the federal government has made significant investments, including the Klamath River, Bay-Delta and Colorado River.
The group included the following recommendations for state and federal stimulus efforts:
- Repair and modernize existing water supply and conveyance infrastructure, including subsidence along the state’s major water delivery canals (California Aqueduct, Delta-Mendota Canal, Friant-Kern Canal)
- Reconsider the state’s lawsuit over the federal biological opinions that protect endangered fish.
- Provide funding to build water projects capable of replacing groundwater supplies lost to SGMA
- Reconsider the scientific foundation of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s recently-issued Incidental Take Permit for the State Water Project (SWP).
- Provide funding that incentivizes farmers to further employ state-of-the-art on-farm water conservation technology that would otherwise be unaffordable
- Expand current water supply infrastructure, including enlargement of Shasta Dam and new storage facilities such as Sites and Temperance Flat.
Click here to read the full text of the letter.