Farms May Not Get Any Federal Water

Share |
(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, February 20, 2009

California’s only gotten patchy snow and rainfall this year. And the state’s reservoirs are parched.

Lynnette Wirth with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says that’s why they may have to slash surface water deliveries down to zero this summer. 

“The principle reason for it has to do with three years in a row of critically dry conditions.” 

Paul Wenger is an almond farmer in Modesto…and first vice-president of the California Farm Bureau Federation. He says it would be a brutal blow to farmers. 

“I can’t say it’s completely, totally unexpected. But it’s certainly a shock because it has created some finality.” 

He says the price of some crops will probably go up if farmers have to rely only on well water.

Wirth says conditions could improve on March 1st when the Bureau of Reclamation will announce new projections factoring in last week's storms. But they won’t be good enough to prevent some kind of delivery reduction.