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Agriculture and CA’s Water Woes

Agriculture Becoming The Whipping Boy For CA’s Water Woes

Do you like to eat fruits and vegetables?  Do you enjoy milk? Beef? How about a glass of wine or flowers on the table?  Does the farm to fork movement or the idea of supplying your family with fresh fruits and vegetables appeal to you?  Then you support and depend on California’s agricultural region. Recent press demonizes agriculture as some kind of nefarious creature, skulking around in the middle of the night stealing water that rightfully belongs to someone else.  It just ain’t so.

As California has struggled through this drought, Agriculture has been on the front line. In 2009 I didn’t see anyone from Beverly Hills here worried about a shortage of water but I did see numerous residents of communities – among the most economically disadvantaged in the state – holding rallies and worrying that there was no drinking water, no jobs and no end in sight to their woes. Fast forward to 2015 and those same communities face those same problems – in three-fold.  I am 100% behind the governor’s order for mandatory water reductions. After all, we are in this together.  I am also 100% behind him when he says agriculture has already done more than its fair share.

True, agriculture uses a lot of the water in California. It takes water to grow crops. The vast majority of the people that benefit from California’s agriculture do not live in the Central Valley.  They live in Los Angeles, San Francisco and other urban areas throughout the United States. California is a large, economically, and ecologically diverse state. It would be next to impossible to paint a simple picture of the interconnections and reliance we have on each region.  Rather than cast stones at agriculture, how about we, as Californians, work together to make sure every drop of water counts? I don’t know about you, but I am fine with my driveway being dusty or my car a little dirty.