Farm Bureau welcomes additional CVP supplies
» March 16, 2010 «
Today's announcement of improved agricultural water supplies from the federal Central Valley Project will be welcome news in the CVP service area, according to the leader of California's largest farm organization. California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger said the additional water will help to replenish groundwater supplies in regions plagued by water shortages, and will help assure availability of water for post-harvest irrigation of orchards and vineyards this summer.
U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that CVP agricultural water service customers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta could count on having 25 percent of contract water supplies from the CVP, and customers north of the delta could expect 50 percent.
"This is certainly a big improvement from the 5 percent supplies that the CVP promised last month," Wenger said, "and we appreciate the Interior Department's pledge to enhance the allocation further through actions that could add another 8 percent to 10 percent to CVP supplies. We will continue to press the department to make that additional water available as soon as possible.
"The additional water from the CVP will reduce the pressure on underground water supplies. It will also help farmers with permanent crops to provide critically needed water after the harvest to their trees and vines. We hope the additional water will also create momentum to meet needs for next year and beyond, allowing farmers more time to make their planting plans," he said.
Wenger noted that he and other Farm Bureau leaders have been visiting Washington, D.C., this week, pressing administration and congressional representatives for solutions to the California water crisis.
"Senator Feinstein has worked tirelessly to bring sensibility and flexibility to operation of the CVP pumps at a time when Mother Nature has provided an above-average supply of water in the delta," he said. "We applaud her efforts to reach common-sense solutions to problems that have pitted fish against people, and we thank Jim Costa, Dennis Cardoza and other members of Congress who continue to work for those solutions.
"People throughout the nation depend on the food and farm products produced in California. Assuring the future of that farm production should be a national priority," Wenger said. "We were glad to hear Secretary Salazar say that the Interior Department is calling 'all hands on deck' to address the issues. We will work with the department to make sure all those hands are pulling in the same direction, toward reliable water supplies for all of California."
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of 81,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 6.2 million Farm Bureau members.
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