Largest Agricultural County in California Joins Central Valley coalition
Fresno County is once again in a water crisis. In late March, the California Department of Water Resources announced the 2021 State Water Project (SWP) allocation to Fresno County farmers would be only 5% of requested water supplies, half of what DWR had announced would be available in December.
The reduction will have a serious impact on Fresno County farmers and agriculture throughout the Central Valley.
“We’ve been here before! This time we need to get ahead of the crisis.”Steve Brandau, Chairman, Fresno County Board of Supervisors.
Fresno County has joined a coalition of Central Valley counties including San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Kings, Tulare, and Kern Counties requesting a statewide emergency drought declaration in a letter to be presented to Governor Newsom by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Andreas Borgeas. Senator Borgeas began circulating the request in early April after DWR’s March announcement.
“We’ve been here before! This time we need to get ahead of the crisis,” said Steve Brandau, Chairman of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors. “A declaration of drought emergency would be a good start.”
Steve Brandau represents District 2 Supervisorial District in Fresno County and is the 2021 Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.
Excerpt of request
“Agriculture is a cornerstone of our local economies and will sustain significant losses as water scarcity becomes a reality. It is estimated that one million acres of land may be fallowed in the San Joaquin Valley over a period of two to three decades as a result of reduced ground and surface water availability. A drought will expedite this loss in productivity and result in thousands of lost jobs.”
View the full request here.
Top Crops Fresno County
Almonds – $1.5 billion
Grapes – $963 million
Pistachios – $660 million
Poultry includes eggs
Oranges – $235 million
source: Fresno County Farm Bureau