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Ag department seeks Israeli input on water conservation
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Hearing about the drought and its profound effects on agriculture here in California is nothing new to residents of the Golden State.

Despite some more recent figures showing increasing reservoir levels and amounts of precipitation in some parts of the state, the severity of the drought has remained relatively unchanged, leading to about 43 percent of California to be considered under severe-to-exceptional drought, according to the Pacific Institute in Oakland.

 However, it is not the recurring story of the drought’s persistence Californians are interested in hearing about, it’s what’s being done to counter it.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture plans to take a contingency of California delegates from agriculturally based boards and commissions statewide to Israel to learn about different conservation strategies a semi-arid geographical location.

The CDFA, formed in 1919, protects the multibillion dollar agriculture industry in California by providing valuable services to producers, merchants and the general public.  

Regarded as one of the most climate intelligent agriculture systems worldwide, Israel is renowned for their advances in irrigation technology.

“Our travels will include a tour of a water management facility in Jerusalem, a visit to a nursery just north of Gaza, and a trip to Netafim, an Israeli Ag technology company in the Negev Desert that also does business in California,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross.

Additionally, the California Climate Smart Delegation will further the relationship with Israel formed back in 2014 when Governor Jerry Brown and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed a memorandum of understanding to develop joint projects and conduct mutually beneficial research.

The delegation departed for Israel on June 17 and looks to return June 25 with a wealth of information and techniques to apply to California’s crippling drought conditions.