Local growers and farmers are trying to deal with the news that they'll receive even less water this year from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
On Friday, federal officials announced local farmers will receive 20% of their water allocation instead of 25%.
The lost water means lost jobs and lost revenue for the Valley.
Valley farmer, Paul Betancourt said, "In the meeting last week they announced that we were going to get less water and it would cost more."
Like many Valley farmers, Paul Betancourt needs reliable water but the feds are slowing the flow of water... dramatically. "It's become extremely unreliable," said Gayle Holman with the Westlands Water District.
Holman says rules to protect the delta smelt compound the problem in dry years, because what little water there, is squandered. "So literally what's happing thousands of acres of water are flowing right out to the ocean," said Holman. And with the water... goes jobs.
Manuel Cunha with the Nisei Farmers League said, "It could be as many as sixty to eighty thousand workers because, not just the farm jobs, but all the other jobs are going to have to reduce because there is no farming."
For those who can afford it, expensive wells limit the loss... but at a price. "We went and put a new well in cost $200,000 a few years ago because we just can't count on the feds to deliver water."
Some believe the lost water could have irrigated over 100,000 acres and pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy.
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