FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Valley leaders headed to Sacramento to push state lawmakers to reverse a decision to cut back the flow of Delta water pumped south to local farms and communities.
Everyone in the Valley is facing the major possibility of a fourth year of a devastating drought. With little snow in the Sierra and a lack of rain, local water districts are anticipating another extremely dry year for farmers.
"This past year we had a zero water allocation. The unfortunate part is because it has been so dry and we have not had any rainfall or snow pack so we are anticipating another year of zero water allocation at least initially," said Gayle Holman with the Westlands Water District.
The district supplies water for farmers from Firebaugh to Kettleman City. Holman said last year more than 200,000 acres went unplanted because of water cutbacks.
On Wednesday Valley leaders pleased with the state's Water Resources Control Board in Sacramento to keep more water flowing south of the Delta or many people not just farmers will continue to suffer.
"You know what, they don't really want handouts. What they really want is a job and jobs are connected to water. Water is economic development," said Livingston city manager, Jose Antonio Ramirez.
Holman believes the problem centers around a law which she says protects the environment over the people who live in it.
"The Endangered Species Act puts a priority on protecting fish before agricultural needs," said Holman.
Environmental groups say increased pumping endangers the Delta Smelt. So far the state board has not made a decision about increasing the flow of water.