“The water is so short this year that it’s driven the price of water up,” says Frank Zonneveld, who grows nuts, hay, corn and tomatoes in Kings and Fresno counties
So since he can no longer rely on surface deliveries from watersheds or the federal Central Valley Project, he’s turning to underground wells instead.
“And I don’t know where all my wells are sitting at. As the water table’s drawn down more heavily, some of my pumps could be sitting shallower, and they could be out of reach of water. And then I’ll have to – if the well’s deep enough, I’ll have to lower the pumps. If not, I’ll have to dig new wells.”
But well drillers’ waiting lists are long – several months for Zonneveld, more than a year for another farmer.
And then, there are the farmers who grow crops in the Westlands area – the western part of Kern and Kings counties. They’re the ones who rely solely on the State Water Project – and on Friday, they learned they’ll get no water at all this year. They don’t have wells to turn to, meaning they’ll have to choose which parts of their land to leave empty.
Another dry winter worries California rice farmers who are planning for this year's crop. The state's harvest was down nearly 25% last year. And, it's not just water that worries growers.
California’s water supply continues to diminish. The water content in the Sierra snowpack is the worst it’s been this time of year since 1991. Water conservation rates are equally dismal, dropping dramatically in January.
(AP) - The California Department of Water Resources says it will carry out the winter's third survey of the Sierra Nevada's snowpack.
What little bit of rain California received in December and February was just enough to help reservoir storage. The Department of Water Resources announced it will increase water deliveries through the State Water Project.
The US Bureau of Reclamation says most farmers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will face a second year with no water from the Central Valley Project. Some farmers and cities may receive more.