The Central Valley is in a drought. The U.S. Drought Monitor lists nearly the entire valley in the moderate drought category and February hasn't helped at all. In Bakersfield, we're having one of the driest Februaries on record.
Tuesday Congressman David Valadao, a Central Valley farmer, released a statement in response to water allocation.
The Bureau of Reclamation's initial 2021 water supply allocation allows 5 percent for South-of-Delta agricultural repayment and water service contractors. According to the press release from Valadao, in the past decade, South-of-Delta contractors have received a zero percent allocation twice.
Agriculture in the Central Valley drives our local economy, provides tens of thousands of jobs, and produces food for the entire world. During the COVID-19 pandemic, farm workers have sacrificed their health and safety to keep our families fed. Now, the Bureau of Reclamation threatens this supply of food and countless livelihoods. The Central Valley farming community has survived devastating drought conditions and burdensome regulations for decades; however, our farms cannot survive without greater water allocations for South-of-Delta agriculture. It is critical allocations of California’s water supply reflect the needs of these farms so they many continue to produce the food our nation relies on.