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June 15, 2022

Water Supply Coalition Issues Urgent Call to Increase Water Funding in Current California State Budget

IRVINE, Calif. (June 15, 2022) – A coalition of agriculture and business organizations has written a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Legislature asking them to establish a clear target to increase the state’s surface water supply to meet current and future needs for human consumption and a growing economy.

“Our existing water system can no longer deliver the water necessary to sustain the world’s fifth largest economy,” the letter states. “Our state has set goals for carbon emission reductions, renewable power, waste diversion, land conservation and other climate-related objectives. However, we still do not have a goal to grow the water supply. In fact, our current strategy is precisely the opposite: To keep shrinking surface water supplies available for human consumption and expect homes and businesses to do more with less. As a result, we are merely managing economic decline.”

Citing recent reports from UC Merced, UC Berkeley and Yale University regarding the insufficiency of water to maintain agriculture and the current food supply, “we are disappointed in the lack of urgency reflected in the state budget currently being considered, especially in a year when California has the resources available to make long-term investments in an area of demonstrated public need,” the letter continues. “The national economy has recently witnessed supply shortages of raw materials, computer chips and even baby formula. The lack of water will serve to amplify these impacts in heretofore unimaginable ways.”

The entirety of the letter and the list of organizations in support can be found here.

About Western Growers:

Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in California, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. Western Growers’ members and their workers provide over half the nation’s fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including half of America’s fresh organic produce. Connect and learn more about Western Growers on Twitter and Facebook