Water Restrictions Hurt Valley Farmers

April 11, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The recent Valley storms aren't enough to help local farmers facing a season with little water.With a dry season and water restrictions, growers on the Valley's west side are running out of options to keep their crops growing.

Many farmers in the area are rotating crops and watering permanent crops like almond trees, instead of row crops like cotton and safflower.

Much of the water for West Valley farmers is cut off because of environmental restrictions to protect the delta smelt. And water officials said the Valley's recent storms won't make a significant impact.

"We have been going below average all season long and now it's really too late to make up for it." Said Randy McFarland.

Water reserves on the east side of the county are not critical right now because of snow pack from the sierra.

Water flowing from the mountains into the San Joaquin and Kings Rivers are still about 25 percent below normal levels.

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