More Conveyance Needed for Ag Water


By Patrick Cavanaugh with the Ag Information Network


What’s the future look like in terms of water deliveries from the Delta for farmers? David Orth is a principal at New Current Water and Land based in Fresno, a consulting firm helping growers navigate SGMA.


“I believe that the long-term solution for the San Joaquin Valley is that we restore some of the surface water from Delta exports that we developed a lot of our property around to levels that pull us away from and allow us to sustainably use ground water.


“Again, having fought the battle of Delta exports for a couple of decades, I’m not optimistic that we’re going to solve that problem,” said Orth. “There are these little issues relative to the Endangered Species Act, the Environmental Protection Act, the Water Quality Acts that really impact our ability to export surface water back into the valley. And so we can talk about creating recharge basins, we can talk about in creating conveyance where there’s really high flow storm sewers and keeping more of that water here as opposed to flowing out of the Delta,” Orth said.

And Orth said, if something doesn’t seriously happen fast, it doesn’t look real good for the future.

There’s not 2 million-acre feet of water that can be developed under those strategies. There’s a fraction of that 2 million, so the reality is we’re going to see a shrinking of production land. There’s just, in my view, no way to get around it.