Tuesday, April 1, 2014

CFWC statement on DWR snow survey announcement

(The following is a statement by Executive Director Mike Wade of the California Farm Water Coalition in response to today's snow survey by the Department of Water Resources.)

"Today's announcement that California's snowpack is a mere 32 percent of normal is continued bad news for farmers throughout California that grow the food consumers find at the store. With the state's major reservoirs only half full there is little chance that farmers will be able to recover from this year's dismal water supply.

"Along with the looming hot summer, farmworkers, truck drivers, food processors and handlers and others will face layoffs and difficult economic times. An estimated 20,000 farm and farm-related jobs will be lost this year costing California's economy about $7.5 billion.

"Sadly, hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of water flowing through the Delta from the few recent storms to hit California will not be used to grow crops. Federal regulations and inflexible environmental water managers prevented that water from being put into storage for use later in the year. Instead, while posing no threat to Delta fish species, water pumps were left to run at a minimum while the water flowed by to the ocean.

"We're through the looking glass. The water system our predecessors built to provide for farms, homes and businesses is instead being used to support environmental purposes that have absolutely no accountability. People need to think about that when grocery prices spike this summer or the produce they find on the shelves is imported from offshore sources."

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