Enhancing water supply and quality
During 2013, Farm Bureau:
- Worked with water district representatives and others to establish clear expectations about how to amend a water bond proposed for the 2014 ballot, and continued to strongly support guaranteed funding for new surface storage in any revised bond measure.
- Emphasized new water storage as a key element, in commenting on a draft California Water Action Plan released by three state agencies.
- Opposed a state water board plan to limit diversions from the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced river watersheds, saying the plan would harm farms and other human water uses without guaranteeing benefits to protected fish.
- Pursued efforts to make new agricultural water regulations for the Central Coast region less onerous, cooperating with other agricultural organizations to seek modifications of the rules.
- Took a lead role in identifying costs of compliance with new regional water quality standards, to make sure regulators understand the cost burdens on farmers and ranchers.
- Provided resources to farmers and ranchers to help them complete oil-spill prevention plans as required under federal and state rules.
- Earned an encouraging court ruling on a Ventura County water district's rate-setting practices for agricultural water use, when the court ruled that a section of the Water Code that sets different groundwater use rates for municipal and agricultural purposes was not unconstitutional.
- Participated in proceedings involving the Delta Stewardship Council, Bay-Delta Conservation Plan and State Water Resources Control Board affecting statewide agricultural water supplies.