California Catholics asked to pray for rain

FRESNO, Calif.

"A prayer for rain is essential right now because California is in a critical condition and again the Catholic bishops have spotted that and I think we're all noticing it right now and we've got to do something about it and a short prayer from everybody would send 38 million prayers to God to get it done."

But growers are doing more than praying, they are demanding action. Mario Santoyo of the Latino Water Coalition is planning a bus caravan to the state capitol to see the Governor next week.

"The Governor needs to declare a drought emergency because that opens the door for the Federal government to come in here and figure out how they can help."

Santoyo says Governor Jerry Brown needs to act so the Federal Government can turn on the pumps in the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta that divert water into the San Luis Reservoir.

"Traditionally they've operated at a low level because they didn't want to upset the fishery agencies, well, we're at a crisis period and we need to be operating at a higher level, that's the kind of pressure the governor can effect on the federal government."

But there may not be enough water this year to start those pumps anytime soon. Lloyd Carter of the California Save Our Streams Council says farmers and cities will soon feel the pinch. He says it's time to conserve.

"We need to start doing the things we've talked about for the past 25 years."

He says that includes water conservation efforts on farms and in cities.

"We could double our water supplies just by not wasting water."

Wildlife refuges are also seeing less water and the Bureau of Reclamation is expected to reduce efforts to restore salmon to the San Joaquin River this year.

Santoyo says Valley communities will likely see food lines this year as hundreds of thousands of acres of land is idled and thousands of jobs dry up. Dougherty says that's why prayers are needed.

"It will affect all of us because if the rain doesn't come down, the crops won't grow people don't work, prices go up, and so forth. It's a domino effect that affects every single one of us. That's why our station will be urging everyone to pray for rain."

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