California Democrats taking action by asking for more water to be allocated to farmers

Local News

The Sierra is packed with snow because of the recent storms. Now, local farmers are hoping the bounty of water will make it’s way to the valley. 

Democratic representative T.J. Cox, Jim Costa, joined senator Feinstein to send a letter to the Bureau of Reclamation asking that recent snowfall be taken into account when allocations are announced. 

“When they have the certainty of water supply going into the future they can make their based plans on that,” said Representative Cox. “About what they are going to grow and how much they are going to plant.”

Cox said farmers have to know how much water they’ll have to work with, and as snow continues to fall, and with recent snowfall there should be plenty to go around.

Richard Matoian is the Executive Director for American Pistachio Growers. He said water allocation is the key to valley farming.

“Growers, whether they are growing row crops or permanent crops (they) need certainty in knowing how much surface water they are going to be able to obtain in the given year,” said Matoian. 

Matoian said every year is like a waiting game and right now the snow pack is well above normal statewide. 

William Bourdeau is the Executive Vice President for Harris Farms. He said what the lawmakers are doing is great and is thankful the three lawmakers are reaching out to reclamation. 

“I think it is important that we have all of our elected officials supporting such an important and critical effort,” said Bourdeau. “We need our allocation early and they need to be as high as possible because we need to plan.”

Dusty Ference is the Executive Director of the Kings County Farm Bureau. 

He said they have not received their water allocation for the month of February yet, but is hopeful for the best. 

“Current rain fall post February first and snow is included in those numbers,” said Ference. “It would be irresponsible to exclude those numbers from allocation estimates for the year.”

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