Balanced Water Policy Needed for the Sacramento Valley
Over 80% of our country’s fruits, nuts and vegetables are grown west of the Rockies. Nearly ¾ of the nation’s production value for cattle and calves occurs in the 17 Western states, according to the USDA Economic Research Services’ Farm Income and Wealth Statistics.
Unfortunately, current government policies are putting that food supply, and the farms that produce it, at risk. In addition to produce and beef, poultry and dairy are also at risk.
This year, 600 square miles of farmland was fallowed on the west-side of California’s Sacramento Valley, which is more than 370,000 acres of farmland, nearly 80% of the total farmland in this service area. Colusa County, which is known for its amazing rice production and the environmental benefits it provides, had almost no rice planted this year.
Colusa County Supervisors Denise Carter and Daurice Kalfsbeek Smith are encouraging policy makers and the public to view a short five-minute film on the devastating impacts we have seen this year in Colusa County as a result of the drought. The film can be watched here.
The Supervisors call on state and federal policy makers to make sure their communities never suffer like this again.
“We need more balanced policies on water that will prioritize water for farms, the people in our small disadvantaged communities, and the fish and wildlife that rely upon our farms and refuges for their food and safe haven”, the Supervisors said.
Check out this excellent blog posted by our friends at the Northern California Water Association: “We need a balanced water policy for the Sacramento Valley”.
Photo credit of dry year fallow (above): Northern California Water Association