Locals push for new irrigation deliveries

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Governor Brown's call for the entire state to reduce water use by 25% was not well received locally. Officials said the Valley has been doing its share for years and communities need more water just to survive.

Elected officials stood side by side outside Selma City Hall and offered a unified voice. They said Governor Brown hasn't done enough to move more water to Valley farms.

Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes said, "Governor are you asleep? I ask you because from December on you could have pumped more water in the delta."

Cities and communities from the west to the east side were represented. Many asked the governor to visit the areas hit hard by the drought. Fallowed land means no work. A homeless encampment has gone up near Mendota. Baldomero Hernandez is the Superintendent of the Westside Elementary School District in Five Points.

Hernandez said, "Children grow where water flows. Well guess what? Water's not flowing. Governor you need to look at what's going on in your state."

Citrus growers on the Valley's east side rely on water out of Friant Dam. Tulare County Supervisor Allen Ishida said 50,000 acres may be in jeopardy but identified one solution.

Ishida explained, "And that is for the Bureau of Reclamation to allow flows from Millerton Lake through Terra Bella so we can add groundwater into the system so we can keep our trees alive."

Local officials were thankful the governor's plan calls for water projects and money for food banks but said communities would prefer more water because more jobs would be available.

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