Low water supplies leave farmers in a bind

With reservoirs at or above average storage levels and the Sierra Nevada snowpack improved by storms in March and early April, farmers await word from federal and state water agencies about whether water allocations might improve.

 

During a winter in which the snowpack reached only about half of average levels, both the federal Central Valley Project and the State Water Project told most of their agricultural customers to expect 20 percent water allocations this year.

 

Conditions improved during March and early April, and water managers told the State Board of Food and Agriculture last week they are trying to determine if that could allow for improved allocations.

 

David Murillo, director for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific Region, which operates the CVP, said federal fisheries agencies remain concerned about storing enough cold water in Lake Shasta to meet the needs of endangered fish.

 

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Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau, PO Box 1846, Buellton, CA 93427
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