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State officials prepare for another dry year
Drought meeting set for Tuesday
drought
Area residents may want to keep their 'Pray for Rain' signs because despite the recent rainfall, weather forecasts are indicating another year of drought. - photo by Journal file photo

Although area farmers are hoping for an El Niño to wash away California’s drought, weather forecasts are indicating yet another dry year.

In an effort to remain proactive, the California State Board of Food and Agriculture is hosting state and federal officials on Tuesday to discuss drought planning and the implementation of the California Water Action Plan.

“The current drought requires unprecedented collaboration between water agencies, state and federal government and the agricultural community to enhance water use efficiency and be prepared to maximize every opportunity for storm water capture,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “As we enter another difficult water year, all Californians need to do their part to use every drop of this precious resource wisely.”

The meeting will host a variety of speakers, including Richard Howitt and Jay Lund from the University of California, Davis; Karla Nemeth from the California Natural Resources Agency; Gordon Burns from the California Environmental Protection Agency; Joe Del Bosque, Kimberly Delfino, and David Orth, members of the California Water Commission; Glenda Humiston from USDA Rural Development; USDA State Conservationist Carlos Suarez; Jeff Yasui from the USDA Risk Management Agency; Jacque Johnson from the USDA Farm Service Agency; and Kerry Tucker from Nuffer Smith and Tucker Public Relations.

Despite taking drastic measures to battle the ongoing drought, the state has still been dealt impactful consequences. California has lost more than 17,100 seasonal and part-time jobs in the agricultural sector and approximately 428,000 acres of irrigated cropland has been fallowed.

Altogether, California has faced a statewide economic loss of an estimate $2.2 billion as a result from the drought. 

“Another drought year will severely impact groundwater supplies which are an important resource for farm families and communities,” said California State Board of Food and Agriculture president Craig McNamara. “As groundwater management moves forward at the local level, farmers and ranchers need to be at the table in helping to reach manageable solutions.”

The meeting will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday at CDFA’s main auditorium 1220 N. St.  For those who cannot make it, the meeting will be streamed online at cdfa.ca.gov/LiveMediaStream.html.