Written by Gordon Webster, Jr.
A new UC Berkeley study released this week makes the perfect case for expanded water storage and supply for agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley.
Following our current path, we could lose one-fifth of our cultivated farmland in the next 30 years, resulting in farm revenue loss of about $7.2 billion a year.
The study lays out a dire picture of what can happen in the face of increasing restrictions on groundwater and surface supplies. While environmentalists like to paint “wealthy growers” as the ones at fault for the Valley’s water shortages, the study also illustrates that it’s farmworkers, ag service workers, truck drivers and everyone else who will see lost jobs and diminished wages.
The next phase of the study will look at practical solutions to minimize the damage of water restrictions. Everyone should take those suggestions to heart if they care about the San Joaquin Valley’s economy and workforce.