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Olsen urges state, federal intervention to increase water supply for area farmers

POSTED December 19, 2013 7:50 p.m.

As the State continues to deal with ongoing water supply issues, Assemblymember Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) sent a letter to President Obama and California Governor Jerry Brown last week urging them to increase water supply while protecting Delta farmers and their families.

Olsen’s letter came in response to the California Department of Water Resources’ recent announcement that water allocations for California State Water Project contractors will be cut this year. In her letter, Olsen emphasizes the need for comprehensive solutions while expressing frustration that the Department of Water Resources’ action could have been avoided if the State had increased storage and other alternative water supplies through the recycling, conservation and desalination of water.

“The lack of stored water in dry years will continue to force communities to rely on local groundwater resources – causing depletion in several areas of California – fallow thousands of acres of productive farmland, raise food costs, increase already expensive agriculture and urban water rates, and result in the loss of countless jobs in our state,” wrote Olsen in the letter.

Olsen also emphasized that actions to improve water supply must respect California’s commitment to water right priorities and area-of-origin protections.

“Government should never harm one region to help another region in the state,” said Olsen. “There are solutions that can increase our water system and improve the Delta.”

With a focus on finding comprehensive solutions to the ongoing water crisis facing the State, Olsen called upon President Obama and Governor Brown for immediate action.

“Water in California is not a zero-sum game; we must find solutions that benefit all 38 million Californians,” said Olsen. “The time to act is now, and I’m a willing partner to find solutions that benefit all.”

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