Fresno

Valley farmers might face harshest ever water restrictions due to drought – Fresno, California

Fresno, California 2021-07-24 22:46:50 –

Fresno County, CA (KFSN)-In the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, farmers in the Central Valley are now facing more uncertainty.

“This year isn’t just bad, it’s getting worse,” said Ryan Jacobsen, CEO of Fresno County Agricultural Administration.

Most of California is in a state of emergency drought.

On Friday, the State Water Commission announced a draft “emergency reduction” order for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta basin, which has extreme water shortages.

“We are seeing one of the toughest years on record,” said Jacobsen.

This order will prevent thousands of Central Valley farmers from using the water of rivers and streams to irrigate their crops.

Water regulators will vote on August 3rd.

If approved, the order will take effect within a few weeks.

“Ultimately, some people have to make a very tough decision to harvest permanent crops or not plant them for at least another year,” says Jacobsen.
“We’re stuck in six months. This is a multi-year process to get out.”

Local farmers have never experienced such a large reduction in water use, Jacobsen said.
And many who rely on state water projects or federal central valley projects are already working on significantly reduced quotas.

“We have experienced droughts before, but they reduce water and do not completely block water, so they scramble to understand how to survive the year. increase.”

The State Water Commission has characterized dryness as unprecedented.

And while farmers may first feel the brunt of this, it affects everyone.

Garlic and tomatoes, which are grown primarily in the Central Valley, can go up in price at grocery stores.

“Currently, it’s an emergency mode for farmers in the valley, trying to do everything for farmers who can’t supply water by the end of the year,” Jacobsen said.

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