State Board and Water Commission hold joint meeting on California water situation
Santa Paula News
Published: September 06, 2013
The California State Board of Food and Agriculture and the California Water Commission will hold a joint meeting concerning the state’s water supply on September 10th in Sacramento. The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 ‘N’ Street in the Main Auditorium, in Sacramento.
According to the Ventura County Watershed Protection District, as of September 4, Santa Paula had 5.96 inches of rain, about 33.5 percent of the 17.80 inches that would be normal to date.
“California’s current water situation spells uncertainty for agricultural interests throughout this state,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “We need to work proactively with farmers and ranchers to address groundwater overdraft and water transfers — providing a level of reliability over the next few years.”
On May 20, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. issued an Executive Order to streamline approvals for water transfers to protect California’s farms. The order was in response to the very dry conditions occurring within the state. Currently, water allocations for this year remain low with 35 percent of requested amounts through the State Water Project and 20 percent of requested amounts through the federal Central Valley Project. Even if this winter provides a normal wet year, growers throughout the state are preparing for a reduced water supply as nine of the State’s major reservoirs are below historic average levels, and six of these are below 50 percent total capacity. This meeting provides a forum for agricultural stakeholders, water representatives, and government officials to discuss California’s water situation and make recommendations to the state board.
“With the strong potential for drought conditions next year — flexibility within the statewide water system is needed” said Craig McNamara, president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. “I’m hopeful that this meeting can help inform policy discussions and encourage action by state and federal agencies.”