Busloads of Valley residents staging water rally in Sacramento

FRESNO, California

14 busloads of people from Fresno to Mendota and Hanford will leave the Valley Thursday morning for a water rally in Sacramento. They're demanding the governor issue a drought declaration.

Dismal levels at Valley reservoirs show you how 2014 is shaping up to be the driest on record. The California Latino Water Coalition sees an emergency drought declaration by Governor Brown as the first step to dealing with the water crisis.

Mario Santoyo with the California Latino Water Coalition said, "That's the only thing that's going to trigger a number of levers that will allow the governor to exercise his power to change the level of flow that goes from the ocean to perhaps coming down south of the dealt to the farms and the cities."

Manuel Cunha with the Nisei Farmers League added, "He has to do that now. He can't wait two months from now when all the water is gone out into the bay."

Demonstrators at the state capitol will also ask the governor and legislators to support a water storage bond measure in November.

Cunha was disappointed the governor didn't make the drought declaration on Monday when he was in Fresno.

"He's gonna have 1500 people, 2000 walking into that capitol from all sorts of jobs and businesses and farmers," said Cunha.

We've already seen a reduction in fall plantings because of water uncertainty. The crop reduction will result in higher food prices.

"The first thing we're going to see is less annual crops going into the ground - that's your tomatoes, your garlic," said Ryan Jacobsen with the Fresno County Farm Bureau. "There was about half of the lettuce planted on what's usually on an average year planted."

The NAACP will join the rally, which Mario Santoyo hopes will let lawmakers know this is an urgent matter.

Santoyo explained, "This is the one that rings the bell and depending on what action we see we may have to go back and build a bigger rally."

Those taking part in the water rally will hold a bipartisan news conference on the steps of the state capitol Thursday morning at 11:00.

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