Water Infrastructure Needed
The water situation in California is becoming quite dire. Despite serious drought conditions about six years ago, we have not had any major investments in agricultural water infrastructure since the 1970s. California Farm Water Coalition executive director Mike Wade this is a critical issue for the state’s water supply.
Wade… “Well, if consumers want reliable food supplies at the grocery store and affordable prices, then agriculture needs to have reliable and affordable water supplies. And what we're seeing this year, like we saw in 2015 is exposing how vulnerable agriculture is to changing water supplies due to hydrology. Now, if we had improved infrastructure, if we had better ability to store water and convey it to areas that need it for irrigation, we would have more stability in the market for planting and growing crops, and getting those crops to the grocery store. So we're hopeful that the federal government will weigh in this year and in the president's infrastructure package, we'll have funding to improve California and infrastructure across the West to deliver water to agriculture and to make sure that consumers have the reliable food supplies that they need at the grocery store.”
Wade says there have been some urban supply projects in recent years for urban users, but the last major agricultural project was New Melones Reservoir which was completed in 1979.