Local drought stories shared at water forum

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- A water forum at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District was designed in part to help people in southern California better understand how the drought is impacting the Central Valley.

The California ConversationIt was sponsored by the LA Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune and Netafim. The valley has felt the impact of the four-year drought much more than other parts of the state. But valley farm production has actually flourished despite the water shortage.California Ag Secretary Karen Ross credited the resiliency of farmers and water managers. Ross said, "We have seen a record-breaking farm gate year and what that tends to do is cloak the harshness some has felt."

Small communities like Seville have long dealt with water quality issues.

The Tulare County town finally got a new well last year after relying on bottled water for an extended period. Becky Quintana served on the water forum and was happy to share her town's plight with the rest of the state. Quintana said, "They need all sides of the story. There's more than two sides to a story and sometimes the message has to be put out."

Del Rey farmer Nikiko Masumoto was also part of the forum. She said one wet year, if we get it, doesn't change the need for water equity for areas hit hardest by the drought. "I think it's so important especially in the valley that often gets overlooked on a lot of different maps that we that we a conversation here with people who live here, people who work the fields."

The water forum was the second held around the state by the newspapers.
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