Unequal Water Allocations in California Signal that Drought Situation is Still Lurks

On Friday, federal regulators announced that farmers in the Sacramento Valley farmers would receive full water deliveries for the coming growing season but growers in San Joaquin Valley might face one more year of water shortage. That highlights the fact that though rains have returned to some parts of the states and some of the drought signs have eased in California, but the situation has not fully recovered.

In an announcement, the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation outlined the initial 2016 water allocations from the Central Valley Project that was eagerly awaited. It outlines allocation of water from federal government's huge network of canals, reservoirs and pumps.

After the announcements on Friday, the farmers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley expressed their outrage when they learnt that they would receive barely five percent allocation of their junior contracted water this year.

A farm group called, Western Growers, representing several California crop growers said the allocation was so low that it "provides dark confirmation that a policy of destruction of farmland is in place."

Farmers in the district spreading over 1,000 square miles grow worth $1 billion of crops in one year including melons, garlic, almonds, pistachios, onions and processing tomatoes. For the last two years they have not received any allocated water.