Valley farmers face water crisis

FRESNO, Calif.                   |   Watch Video Above for Extended Coverage   |

With Election Day nearing closer, people say they want to be more educated about California's water issues and how their tax dollars may or may not help.

Before Saturday, Teresa Espana of Fresno says she was confused about the state's ongoing water crisis. "Its such a complex issue, and today's speakers and the workshops really helped untangled a lot of the complexity for me."

Espana was one of 200 people who attended a water forum held at Fresno City College.

The all-day event was developed to give people a fair understanding of the state's water issues, everything from unemployment to an upcoming water bond measure. "Clearly, we need to have a way to make sure that we can get water to people where they're at."

Valley assemblyman Juan Arambula spoke in favor of the 11.4 billion dollar measure that he says is designed to ease California's water crisis.

If approved, the money will be used for drought relief, water storage and restoration of the Delta.

"Yes, it has a little bit for for everyone in the state. It provides for conservation. It provides for reuse of water. It also encourages ground water storage. And it also provides money for possible surface storage."

"I'm not saying that there aren't realities that we need to deal with, but there are others ways to do it more cost effectively."

Barbara Barrigan-Parilla of "Restore the Delta" is against the proposal.

She says taxpayers will end up paying too much money for something that won't work.

"There's not enough tied from that bond package which will create things like ground water monitoring and the real serious conservation members programs in California."

The comprehensive water bond will be on November's ballot.

"But what I do love about this event. They had these workshops that explained a lot of things that most people didn't have a clue about what was going on."

Saturday's event was put together by the Central Valley Water Consortium.

They hope to organize similar forums in the future.

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