A Time for Sustainable Water Solutions

Who could have predicted California’s historic drought would turn to record breaking rainfall and snowpack? At the height of the drought our industry fell under intense scrutiny and it was during this time I last focused on water issues. Thankfully, the efficiency and stewardship of our Blue Diamond growers helped them to sustain solid crops.

Earlier this month, Governor Brown declared an end to the state’s drought emergency and expressed hope of expanding water supply. The news prompted some of the best water allocations in years. As the producer of almost half of all the fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the United States, California should take this opportunity to develop sustainable water infrastructure that will support farmers and consumers.

To highlight the impacts of water on agriculture, UC Berkeley released a study revealing the unintended consequences of nearly two decades of water cuts caused by regulations. The Human Impact of California’s Water Cuts shows the hardest hit are those who rely on agriculture to survive, such as farmworkers, food processors, truck drivers and warehouse workers. Read the full study here.

In their response to the study, the California Farm Water Coalition gets it right. “We’re all grateful for this year’s wet winter, but does not solve our long-term management problems. To do that, we must all work together using sound science and common sense to make smart choices about allocation that benefits all, including farmers, urban consumers and the environment.”