A coalition led by Family Farm Alliance consisting of farmers, water districts, and organizations, took a stand to address the troubling situation faced by Western irrigated agriculture. We have warned policy makers for over a decade of the looming food shortage crisis as the water supply dwindles, impacting 80% of the domestically grown fruits, nuts and vegetables that consumers expect to find in the grocery store.
The Facebook group called “Shut Down & Fed Up” got it right in a post this past weekend: “Water policy is out of balance, and NO ONE will escape the consequences this year.”900,000 copies went to print with a much larger digital reach.
The ad ran on Saturday, April 2 and the QR code at the bottom of the ad led readers to a web page with more information about this dire situation and what must be done to correct it: https://www.farmwater.org/food-security-and-water. By clicking on the image of the ad you can be taken to its pdf link. We strongly urge you to share the ad and this page far and wide with your family, friends, and associates via email and social media. We as an organization and as part of a wider coalition deeply fear that food scarcity becomes an unavoidable consequence of unbalanced water policies.
The landing page links to our recent report – “A Wake-up Call to Our National Leaders from an American Rancher” – which further describes current and projected food shortages resulting from the Russia-Ukraine war. It also links to this report describing the remarkable contributions Western irrigated agriculture makes to the national economy, household income, and the ability for U.S. consumers to pay less of their disposable income on food than anywhere else in the world.
Agricultural production in the West is an irreplaceable, strategic national resource that is vital to U.S. food security, the ecosystem, and overall drought resilience. The role of the federal government in the 21 st Century should be to protect and enhance that resource by doing whatever it can to ensure that water remains on farms. There may never be a better time than now for thoughtful and courageous leaders to stand up and “right the ship”.
If not now, when? If not us, who?
Western producers can and will successfully work through future droughts and water shortages in a collaborative and effective way.
The future of millions of people and millions of acres of farms and ranches and the food and fiber they produce rest on this belief.