Senator Feinstein California Water Solution

Central Valley Farm Girl

I feel blessed that I was raised in the cornucopia of the Central Valley. I was a farm girl. With a seemingly never ending supply of water, my parents grew an abundance of fresh vegetables on a half acre of land. What they didn’t grow was available from a farm just up the road. I can remember riding home with the new produce, inhaling the sweet aroma coming from a crate of peaches while popping a few hastily dusted off grapes into my mouth.

Now, after years of drought mixed with the worries of endangered fish and water sucking subdivisions, the amount of water pumped out the Sacramento Delta has put the Central Valley’s $20-billion a year agriculture industry in danger. Protecting salmon and housing is important, but when weighed against the impact the lack of water is having on valley farms, how do we determine which is the more important?

I fear that many of those who live in the San Francisco Bay area may not realize that the concern is not just for the financial losses of the corporate farmer. Family farmers, migrant workers, and the numerous businesses that support agriculture may disappear. The Central Valley could become dotted with ghost towns, and imported produce in the Bay Area could become a luxury.

I am ready to support a plan or legislation that may be proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein. She is working hard to help ease the problem.

Senator Dianne Feinstein

Take a look at the AgJobs Bill.

2 Comments so far

  1. Mike Hudson (unregistered) on February 24th, 2010 @ 2:18 pm

    Dear Joann,
    please at your convenience, take a drive along our coast and take a look at the string of ghost towns you’ll find there since Salmon fishing in our State (and in Oregon) has been closed down. 1000s of family wage jobs have been lost in our fishing industry made up of American food producers. 1000 Miles of coastline remain closed to all Salmon fishing, while at the same time CA agriculture produced record crops of Tomatoes. It’s really not the shortage of water that impacts our farmers, it’s what they do with it. We have always had years of excessive rainfalls followed by years of low rainfalls in California, and nobody has yet figured out how to always make it rain when needed… This has never caused the big problems we see today, because we never had that many perennial crops on our farms before. If anything is taking water away from our beautiful and important Lettuces, Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, and other vegetable crops – it’s the proliferation of Tree and Vine crops. More and more of our acreage is converted to these long lived and more profitable crops that need a constant amount of water year after year. So if and when mother nature decides not to give us as much rain and snow as we expect, our farmers necessarily have to fallow our food crops in order to water their Almonds. Our water system was never intended for this kind of use.
    The solution is easy: You want more water for Cantaloupes? Chop down some Almond Trees, especially the ones in the Westlands that should have never ever been planted there in the first place.
    How many Almonds have you eaten this year? Would you rather have Almonds and Broccoli over Rice – or Salmon and Broccoli over Rice for dinner?
    Today there are around 800,000 Acres of Almonds in production in CA, and that means probably around 1 Million Acres of Almonds planted in our State – most of them in the CV. That’s an area close to the size of Delaware. Almost all these Almonds are exported to other countries to benefit very few at the expense of ALL citizens of our State.

  2. Joann Landers (joannlanders) on February 24th, 2010 @ 9:59 pm

    Hi Mike,

    Actually, I do love almonds. I have some everyday and salmon a few times a month.

    Rather than coming down just on the almond growers, might we also aim our disfavor at southern California’s growing need for development?

    I did not wish to play the “my crisis is bigger than your crisis game”, but I do think if we look at the really big picture saving Central Valley agriculture would win. Much of our country depends on Central Valley produce, and not on our fish.

    I do hope for a solution to save both fish and farms.

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