California Drought Meeting Called

California Drought Meeting Called

With California farmers and ranchers preparing for a potential fourth consecutive drought year, the California State Board of Food and Agriculture will meet with federal and state officials to discuss drought operations and potential actions for 2015.The meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), 1220 ‘N’ Street – Main Auditorium, Sacramento.“It is critically important that we continue to work cooperatively with our federal and state partners in addressing this ongoing drought,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “With our current lack of significant precipitation and snowpack, this could be an extremely challenging year for our state’s farmers and ranchers.”

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drought in Southwest U.S.In 2014 California voters passed Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion general obligation bond measure that will fund projects to sustain California’s surface and groundwater supply. $2.7 billion will fund water storage, while $900 million will be used for groundwater sustainability.

As a result of the current drought, 10 of the state’s 12 major reservoirs are at or below 50% of their storage capacity, and snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada Mountains remain low at 26% of normal. The drought has also affected groundwater elevation levels in several basins and sub-basins throughout the state.

In addition to drought operations, the meeting will include a fisheries update by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife; a progress report on the California Water Action Plan by the California Natural Resources Agency; and a discussion on surface and groundwater storage, in which an overview on Sites Reservoir and Temperance Flat will be included.

Invited speakers include: Mark Cowin, California Department of Water Resources; David Murillo, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation; Charlton Bonham, California Department of Fish and Wildlife; Janelle Beland, California Natural Resources Agency; David Orth, California Water Commission; Ron Jacobsma, Friant Water Authority; Jeffrey Sutton, Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority; Eric Averett, Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District; Jason Gianquinto, Semitropic Water Storage District.

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture advises the governor and the CDFA secretary on agricultural issues and consumer needs. The state board conducts forums that bring together local, state and federal government officials, agricultural representatives and citizens to discuss current issues of concern to California agriculture.

This meeting will be streamed online.

Source: California Department of Food and Agriculture