(The following is a statement by Mike Wade, Executive Director of the California Farm Water Coalition, in response to the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program that is planned to deliver treated recycled water to farmers.)
SACRAMENTO—“The California Farm Water Coalition applauds the cities of Turlock and Modesto as they celebrate the certification of the Environmental Impact Report for the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program (NVRRWP). The partnership of the cities with Del Puerto Water District will provide a new source of both agricultural and environmental water. The partnership should be seen as an example of the benefits that can result from working together where possible for the shared goal of providing for California’s citizens, its wildlife, and its farms.
“The current drought has been disastrous for many farmers: with no surface water allocation and groundwater supplies dwindling, providing the crops that keep Californians fed has become a challenge. With strengthened alliances and innovative technologies, the partners of the NVRRWP have identified an innovative way to recycle water and provide for all of the region’s stakeholders. Improving water management across regions in a basin helps to ensure water resources are being responsibly overseen and that critically important basin-level efficiency is enhanced.
“Farmers in the area, and across the state, have sought other sources of surface water where possible, through transfer agreements between regions with available water to areas of need. Locally, farmers continue to expand the use of water smart technology for use on their farms, improving not only the water efficiency, but often the market quality of the products being demanded by consumers. Farmers are not only accelerating the installation of drip irrigation systems, but use automation-assisted tractors to aid in planting and growing, and are adopting scientific irrigation scheduling and soil moisture monitoring that assist farmers in knowing when and how much water to apply to their crops.
“The North Valley Regional Recycled water Program is a good model of urban, agricultural, environmental, and regulatory cooperation on water supply issues.”