Food Grows Where Water Flows

For more than 25 years, the California Farm Water Coalition has been working with our members to share information about farm water issues, and reminding Californians that "Food Grows Where Water Flows."

Be a part of the effort!

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Releases and Statements

CFWC Statement on End of Drought

April 7, 2017 in CFWC Blog, Drought, Releases, Water Supply
“Today the Governor declared an end to California’s drought and his administration issued plans to permanently entrench many of the drought restrictions and water use efficiency requirements it brought about.


“California farmers work every day to make the most out of every drop.  While total agricultural water use in California has remained relatively constant over the last 50 years, the amount of food we produce with that water has increased over 43 percent. Any way you look at it, that’s a pretty efficient use of resources, said Mike Wade, executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition.


“By planning to prepare for future drought the Administration recognizes that Californians can no longer rely on our broken water system to provide sufficient water to all California water users – urban, farm and environmental. Without fixing our broken system, we face the risk of permanent water shortages during even the wettest of years, and ever-escalating disaster during multi-year droughts.


“Californians have long known that our state must develop water infrastructure in smart ways to foster prosperity, avert crisis, and ensure our long-term success. In 2014 the voters overwhelmingly passed Prop 1, agreeing to spend money on badly-needed water infrastructure. And yet, projects that have been studied for years and are ready to go remain unfunded. Why? Our water management system with more than 15 overlapping federal, state, and local agencies continues to delay. Sites Reservoir and Temperance Flat alone would add enough water to meet the needs of 4.3 million people for a year or grow over 11 billion salads


“We must act now to prepare for future droughts by building integrated water storage that helps to grow our economy, protect the environment, and ensure prosperity for future generations. But fixing our broken system goes beyond our urgent need to develop these smart storage solutions. California must pursue robust, adaptive, and durable solutions to the other water management issues confronting us. Local, state, and federal agencies must adopt not only a culture of cooperation, but outcome-oriented policies that encourage responsive, efficient, and smart solutions.


“We stand ready to roll up our sleeves and work to fix the broken water management system and keep California from a state of permanent drought,” Wade said.


The best it gets? Responses to South-of-Delta CVP Allocation Announcement

March 27, 2017 in Learn More, Releases

South-of-Delta CVP Allocation Announcement

Many contractors in the CVP are scratching their heads at the latest USBR allocation announcement for South-of-Delta deliveries that was finally released late in the farm planning season.

In the wettest year on record, with approximately 200% of average precipitation, a lot of people are asking questions-

Why is the allocation only 65%?

Why did the announcement come so late?

If this is a record-breaking water year, what will normal years look like?

How can the system be so broken?

Read the responses from some of those impacted:

Westlands Water District

San Luis and Delta Mendota Water Authority

Watch a television interview with a farmer on the topic.



Out-of-Touch Federal Bureaucrats Actively Obstructing Emergency Fixes at Oroville

February 27, 2017 in CFWC Blog, Releases

You can’t make this stuff up

While California water officials deal with historic flooding and neglected infrastructure as well as emergency efforts to protect people and property from the next storms, our federal bureaucracy is also hard at work. Except its hard work is directed at putting up roadblocks to the very emergency repairs California officials are rushing to complete.

Recommendations could slow recovery efforts

A four-page letter sent recently to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) makes outrageous recommendations that will confound efforts to begin repairing the damage at Oroville Dam. FERC maintains authority over the Oroville Hydroelectric Project.

The California Department of Water Resources stopped releases from Oroville’s main spillway on Monday, February 27 in order to begin dredging soil and concrete that are blocking Oroville’s power plant. Getting the power plant back on line will help regulate releases from the dam during the remainder of the rainy season, which will enhance public safety.

Just work at night

The NMFS letter makes 22 requests that it believes would minimize the effect on anadromous fish species and habitat on the Feather River. Those recommendations include:

  • Only working on Oroville repairs at night, instead of letting repair work proceed as quickly as possible.
  • Ramping flows up and down as slowly as possible, which would inhibit the ability to get prepared for the next storms
  • Maintaining minimum flows at all times, again obstructing necessary preparations for the next wave of storms
  • Taking time away from necessary repairs to survey the locations of fish that may still be in the river, and mandating a detailed level of data-collection down to checking date, time and location stamp on cameras.
  • Requiring time taken away from emergency needs to “deploy as many people as possible” to survey fish.

Repairs must occur quickly

There are more storms on the horizon as well as a record snowpack eager to melt this spring. Time is of the essence. DWR was right to shut the spillway and begin work as soon as possible in order to begin the clean up. The 180,000 people who evacuated two weeks ago should not be held hostage to a bureaucratic process that will slow progress on repairing the storm damage.