Fresno County

Fresno County

July 17, 2013

Mario Santoyo Speaks Out

Water Summit Welcomes Community Questions

Mario Santoyo, Director of the California Latino
Water Coalition.
The Delta Water Summit will be held on August 3, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Fresno State’s Satellite Student Union. The Summit is intended for farmers and the community as a whole to hear what’s going on from key legislators, administration (state and federal) and water agencies.

“What’s going on?” asks Mario Santoyo, Organizer of the Summit and Director of The California Latino Water Coalition, an organization dedicated expressly to helping constructively craft solutions to California’s water crisis and ensure that our state’s vital water supply needs are met now and in the future. Although formed as a voice for Latinos, the Coalition is a positive force benefitting all Californians.

“If I am a farmer, and I am having difficulty getting my water for farming, I would want to know—what people are doing?” said Santoyo. “This is an opportunity to bring all the key players to Fresno and give the community a chance to ask these types of questions.”

“There is no question this is an emergency situation now,” Santoyo clarified. “We constantly hear about the long-term solutions including the twin tunnels, but they won’t be built for ten years.”

“If I am a farmer today, struggling, and I hear that next year we’ll may have zero water allocation, or even ten or twenty percent, coupled with the current bad year, I am probably looking at going out of business,” warned Santoyo.

“I want to know what are our legislators are doing to help us find a solution for tomorrow,” Santoyo commented. “Our legislators can get focused, work in a bipartisan way and encourage their other colleagues to get involved. The key thought here is that they have to find a way to work together. I think our Valley legislators, for the most part, have been successful in that regard, but we have to be more successful.”

“I think it is important for all of us, in general, to get to a point to where we all know what we need to do, agree on how we are going to do it, and then work together to try to make it happen,” noted  Santoyo.

“If we don’t reach a temporary, interim solution within the next two to three months, we are guaranteed to have a crisis next year,” warned Santoyo. “So, we need to be doing something, and it needs to be now.”

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