California to hold meeting on state water situation

State officials in California will hold a meeting Sept. 10 about the state's current water supply situation related to ag.

The California State Board of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) and the California Water Commission will hold a joint meeting concerning the state's water supply on Sept. 10 in Sacramento, Cal.

"California's current water situation spells uncertainty for agricultural interests throughout this state," said CDFA secretary Karen Ross. "We need to work proactively with farmers and ranchers to address groundwater overdraft and water transfers — providing a level of reliability over the next few years."

On May 20, California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an executive order to streamline approvals for water transfers to protect California's farms. The order was in response to the very dry conditions occurring within the state. Currently, water allocations for this year remain low with 35% of requested amounts through the State Water Project and 20% of requested amounts through the federal Central Valley Project, CDFA said. Even if this winter provides a normal wet year, growers throughout the state are preparing for a reduced water supply as nine of the state's major reservoirs are below historic average levels, and six of these are below 50% total capacity.

CDFA said this meeting provides a forum for agricultural stakeholders, water representatives and government officials to discuss California's water situation and make recommendations to the state board.

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