The California Farm Water Coalition says bureaucrats are wasting water at a rate of two billion gallons per day that could serve farms and families. Coalition Executive Director Mike Wade tells Brownfield the lost water is the result of enforcing the federal endangered species act, but it’s not having the intended environmental effects.
“Our federal fishery biologists are looking at actions within the delta to trigger impacts on pumping, the limit the amount of water we take from the delta with the supposed benefit for fish,” Wade told Brownfield Ag News Thursday. “All of the blame has been put onto agriculture, or at least all of the impacts on water supply and trying to resolve the problem.”
Wade says that in spite of federal restrictions on using that water, fish populations are declining, and the delta is “an ecological mess.” He says the lack of water means acres that remain unplanted and migrant farm workers who are unemployed.
We’re going to see higher costs, we going to see fewer acres farmed, and it it’s anything like 2014 or 2015, that meant over 500,000 acres of farmland fallowed,” said Wade.
California Governor Jerry Brown has called for a reduction in water usage among Californians, such as shorter showers and less watering.
AUDIO: Mike Wade (11 min. MP3)