California growers urge Congress to act on water

03/10/2014 11:19:00 AM
Mike Hornick

In a letter signed by more than 1,000 growers, the California Water Alliance asked the state’s congressional delegation to pass legislation easing water supply issues aggravated by drought.

The Feb. 24 letter said state and federal water delivery projects no longer work as designed, blaming inadequate storage on “short-sighted and unbalance application of environmental regulations.”

Regulations that conflict with water delivery in dry years need fixing, according to the signers.

Pumping restrictions implementing delta smelt protection policies have been an issue for Central Valley growers getting zero water allocations from the projects this spring.

“Without water, we cannot grow strawberries or lettuce, and more than 75% of the nation’s supply of each of those crops will be lost,” according to the letter.

“The orchards and vines that produce the wine, grapes, citrus, almonds, walnuts, and other products for which California is famous cannot survive without water.”

The letter urges that recently introduced bills in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate be reconciled and signed by President Barack Obama within a few weeks.

“Anything less will be your collective failure,” the signers said.



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