The California State Water Board recently released a draft to increase water flows through the Lower San Joaquin River. The Sacramento Bee reports these changes will restrict more water allocated to farmers and cities.
The Bee reports that this proposed plan will take away about 288,000 acre-feet of water from water users in San Francisco, Modesto, Merced, and farms in the San Joaquin Valley.
According to reports form the California Farm Water Coalition cited in the article from The Bee, job losses are estimated at 6,500. Chris Scheuring, Counsel with the California Farm Bureau Federation, told the bee, “This is just going to break the system at some point.” Scheuring says farmland will likely take land out of production as a result of these new regulations.
The Almond Alliance of California released a statement by Elaine Trevino, President of the Almond Alliance of California, speaking out against these proposed regulations.
“Simply put, this proposal by the state water board will not save salmon, and it will have devastating consequences on not just almond growers, but all San Joaquin Valley farmers and countless other workers who benefit from the ripple effect of its economic activity,” Trevino said. “Water is the lifeblood of our economy and farmers have made significant investments in community infrastructure, such as recycled water projects, recharging aquifers, and adopting state-of-the-art irrigation practices to conserve this valuable natural resource. The Almond Alliance will continue to fight to preserve the economic security of the Central Valley.”
The California State Water Board’s draft is open for written public comments through July 27. Comments can be submitted to the Clerk to the State Water Board by email [email protected] with the subject line of “Comment Letter – Revisions to Proposed Bay-Delta Plan Amendments.” Hard copies can be mailed to the attention of Jeanine Townsend, Clerk to the Board, State Water Resources Control Board, 1001 I Street, 24th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814.