California Farm Bureau Federation president Jamie Johansson says he can understand why growers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta would be disappointed over their initial Central Valley Project water allocation of 35 percent of requested supplies.
“California has been blessed with an abundant Sierra snowpack and that should be recognized in making an initial water allocation, so farmers can make their planting decisions,” Johansson says in a news release. “We hope the CVP will be able to increase its allocations as the spring continues.
"In above-average years such as this, we need to provide as much certainty about available supplies as early as possible to farmers and all other water users," he says.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on Feb. 20 announced it would deliver at least 70 percent of contract amounts to growers north of the Delta while sending 35 percent to farms to the south. Some contractors on the east side of the Central Valley will receive 100 percent of their contract total, as will Friant Division contractors accessing their Class 1 water, according to a bureau news release.
Johansson says the agency likely needed to be conservative in its projections because of biological opinions for protected fish that require water to be reserved for fishery uses.
He adds that the Farm Bureau “will continue to advocate for balanced water policies that benefit our state’s farms, cities and environment alike.”