Keeping More Water Available for Farming and Cities
With the Bureau of Reclamation's recent initial federal allocation of 15% for farmers South of the Delta, we were reminded of so much water always going out to the ocean.
Matt Efird is an almond and Walnut grower in Fresno County and serves as the president of the Fresno County Farm Bureau. “With that comment, basically I think its common sense. We need to do everything we can to capture and recover as much water as possible.
And the current winter delivered less than average rainfall and snow fall, but if we do get rainfall we need to do something with it. “The capital investments in our irrigation districts aren't there yet and we don't have all the recharge ponding basins in place,” said Efird. “I think groundwater recharge and on-farm recharge with growers is a great opportunity for us to utilize all this productive ground in the Valley to replenish our groundwater aquifers.”
“It’s just a matter of having coordinated agreements with your irrigation districts and having the capital investments in the ability to convey and apply that water in your operation,” he said.
But it is political because there's a constant amount of fresh water flowing into the ocean in excess to what's needed to push back that saltwater intrusion. We asked Efird what can be done about this. “I think we just keep going the same strategies we are going with education. It's trying to find that balance between the environment and farming sustainably in our operations,” noted Efird.
“I think sustainability is a multifaceted approach. That conversation needs to be directed by us, the growers,” he said.