AG leaders gather at Fresno State for symposium on the future of water in the Valley

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- On Wednesday, dozens of Ag industry leaders gathered at Fresno State to talk about the future of water in our Valley.

This discussion comes less than 24 hours after federal officials with the Bureau of Reclamation announced Central Valley farmers will get 100-percent of the imported water they need to irrigate their crops. This announcement comes for the first time in more than a decade.

Fresno Irrigation District's General Manager, Gary Serrato, said, "Growers are now going to be able to plan what they're cropping patterns are going to be, what are they going to grow, are they going to have enough water."

Despite the recent record breaking snowpack and the flood release, initially there was only a 65-percent allocation south of the delta. Though some growers said this is encouraging it comes months after decisions were made for spring crops.

Congressmen Jim Costa and David Valadao were on hand to talk water conservation.

"Clearly water is the sustenance of life and where water flows food grows," said Costa.

Citing six years of drought conditions Costa said it is important to ensure we have enough water for the nation's top agricultural region.

"That's the discussion at hand as we try to balance the over drafting that's taking place versus the ability to plan for the future when we have good abundant years like this year."

"If we don't have water our communities don't do well, our farmers aren't able to produce crops, it's the foundation of our economy here," said Valadao.

New legislation authored by Valadao, called the Grow Act, calls for expanding infrastructure to capture more water and streamlines water storage project decision making.

"We have to get to the point where we have a stable water supply if we expect land values and jobs in communities to survive in the long term," said Valadao.
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