Some farmers in Fresno County given 100-percent water allocation, others still waiting to find out

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After years of drought, positive signs of relief are showing for some Central Valley farmers. (KFSN)

After years of drought, positive signs of relief are showing for some Central Valley farmers.

Tuesday, the Bureau of Reclamation announced Friant users will be receiving a 100-percent water allocation. That means citrus grower Kevin Severns will have the supply needed to properly feed his 20 acres of more than 2,000 trees.

"We have a saying in farming that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is right now. So yeah, the timing right now is good."

The last time Central Valley farmers saw a 100 percent allocation was around 2010. Since then, the agriculture industry has taken a big hit.

"You have these long hot summers and a lack of water. You can tend to reduce the quality or size or both on the fruit and those are always challenges when you're trying to sell your product on a worldwide market," said Severns.

But the good news comes with a double-edged sword. While growers on the eastern side of Fresno County are relishing in joy, farmers on the western side are still waiting for their piece of the pie.

"Today we were told we would have to wait anywhere from two to four weeks for that allocation to come out, and for so many of my folks that is unacceptable," said Ryan Jacobsen Fresno County Farm Bureau.

Jacobsen said the delay has to deal with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Fishery Management Plan.

"Unfortunately, that plan has not been completed with the fish species in the delta."

The Westland's Water District would not comment on camera but released this statement saying, "With the improvement in hydrology and snow pack in 2017, common sense would suggest that everyone's water allocation will be a vast improvement over the past few years."

Until then, Westside farmers must wait-- which means less economic activity and less production for the central Valley.

The Fresno County Farm Bureau said the delay right now is affecting about 250,000 acres of land on Fresno County's Westside.
Related Topics:
societyagriculturefarmingwatercalifornia waterfresno county
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