The report issued today by the California Department of Food & Agriculture and the University of California, Davis presents an accurate water crisis picture of the reality resulting from federal decisions that will reduce the production of food and fiber, according to California Citrus Mutual.
Unfortunately, this picture is not complete. The report indicates the losses which have been incurred to-date, but does not and cannot begin to predict future impacts as permanent crops continue to be ripped out of production as we enter into the hottest months with zero access to surface water,” says CCM President Joel Nelsen.
“The report is a compilation of what the authors know is happening as a result of April calculations. Since then, the Bureau of Reclamation has challenged the Administration’s focus on obesity prevention, school lunch programs, and other campaigns focused on healthy eating by holding water that could otherwise be used for the production of food and fiber.
As such, growers are being forced to make difficult farming decisions that have and will continue to result in reduced plantings of annual crops and the removal of permanent crops.
“If there is a flaw in the report, it is the assumption that ground water supplies are available to offset surface water loss, which may be true in some production areas but certainly not all.
The authors do fairly acknowledge that the impacts to the Friant service area in particular are not yet calculated into this water crisis report.
“The report demonstrates the costs associated with the inability of the Central Valley to produce a viable crop due to zero or minimal water allocation.
As the actions of the shortsighted agencies manifest themselves into reality, the cost will be borne for years to come until permanent crop plantings are replaced and production is regained. Production, revenue, and jobs are in abeyance for several years to come.”
Image courtesy of TeddyBear[Picnic]/FreeDigitalPhotos.net