CDFA Secretary on California Drought Solutions

CDFA Secretary on California Drought Solutions

July 3, 2014

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross talks about the California drought and some steps the state is making to circumvent the crisis.

“We know from the UC Davis preliminary study that was released last month, that farmers are adapting because of groundwater, and that's what we store groundwater for, its to help us get us through droughts. But when we have back to back years with surface allocations have been dramatically reduced combined with the drought, our reliance on that groundwater could in some cases mean that we wont have it available for the future,” said Ross.

Ross explained that California Governor Jerry Brown asked various industry leaders, including Secretary Ross, to come up with a “Water Action Plan” in an attempt to solve the water crisis currently facing the state.

Secretary Ross details some aspects of the collaborative “Water Action Plan” for California.

“It was specifically looking at all the things that we could be doing over the next five years, specific actions that were doable over the next five years that could help address California’s water situation going forward. It is groundwater management, it is more storage, it is much more conservation, it is really utilizing better recycled water, storm water capture. So its a whole list of things, and we think it is pretty comprehensive list at everything we need to do going forward.” said Ross.

Ross comments on her point of view on the potential tropical storm El Nino.

“I've certainly been in some briefings with some NONA climatologists and our own people at the department of water resources watch this very closely. When you look at the words and how many times the words probability, possibility, uncertainty are used in these descriptions I think El Nino with more than moderate rainfall and snow-pack is what we hope for, but we would be irresponsible to plan that way,” said Ross. “So we must plan the most conservative way possible to have water going forward and hope that El Nino is one that has more than moderate precipitation events come next winter. But we need absolutely need more precipitation, the lack of snow pack is very troubling this year, normally we would be having snowing melt filling our streams and reservoirs,” she added.

Ross added:

“We just our very dependent on mother nature. At the end of the day we are coexisting with mother nature.”