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March 22, 2017

Illogical Federal Water Allocation to Farmers South of Delta

IRVINE, Calif., (March 22, 2017) — In response to the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation’s initial water allocation announcement of 65% today for farmers south of the Delta served by the federal Central Valley Project, Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif issued the following statement:

“With record-level precipitation and flooding, and fear of more to come, a 65 percent Central Valley Project initial water allocation for farmers south of the Delta defies logic. While an improvement over the zero to five percent allocations of the past three years, the stark reality is inescapably obvious:  Regulatory actions are depriving farmers and millions of Californians dependent on the farm economy of their livelihoods. Populations of the fish species these actions purportedly protect have not recovered, yet this year federal and state agencies will again redirect massive amounts of water out to sea while shorting farmers. Meanwhile, local water managers are struggling to create plans that comply with a state groundwater management law that prohibits excess pumping of groundwater while their main supply of water to recharge those basins continues to be throttled down.

“It is time for California to get serious about the building of additional storage capacity, as directed by the voters in approving the 2014 water bond. It is equally important for our elected officials to work with the appropriate government agencies to remove the punitive and unjustified regulatory chains jeopardizing the future of thousands of California farmers and the economic and social vitality of millions of our fellow Californians.”

About Western Growers:
Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California and Colorado. Our members and their workers provide over half the nation’s fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including nearly half of America’s fresh organic produce. Some members also farm throughout the U.S. and in other countries so people have year-round access to nutritious food. For generations, we have provided variety and healthy choices to consumers. Connect with and learn more about Western Growers on our Twitter and Facebook.