Secretary of Ag meets with local water experts to discuss state's water crisis

SAN LUIS RESERVOIR, Calif. (KFSN) -- Overlooking the San Luis Reservoir, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, stood side-by-side with local growers and leaders to learn about the state's water crisis.

"We are coming here to the San Luis Reservoir to understand a little bit more of the complexity of California's challenges," said Perdue.

Perdue says several years of drought has damaged the farming industry which is why he wants federal, state and local governments to work together to build a sustainable water supply.

"You can't make plans about a crop with no water. I hope that we can use some of the federal infrastructure money to combine with some of the assessment that local people have done that state has passed water bond and how we can combine those efforts and collaborate to have an outcome of a better product for all of California," said Perdue.

Valley Farmer Joe Del Bosque grows almonds and melons. He expressed the challenges of having less water to Perdue.

"I think he could hear it in the voices of every time he talks to a farmer. There were some years where we fallowed 40 percent of our farm that means 40 percent didn't grow any crops because we didn't have water," said Del Bosque.

Congressman Jim Costa says this visit was needed and he hopes it will create change down the line.

"I think secretary Perdue sent a very strong message to California farmers ranchers and dairymen and women that he wants to be a problem solver and he understands that with water we have to use all the water tools in our toolbox," said Costa.

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