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Farmers, Water Agencies React To Brown's Water Order


By Ezra David Romero, Valley Public Radio

An executive order from Governor Jerry Brown imposes a 25 percent mandatory water reduction on California cities and towns. It’s the first such order in the state’s history.

Cannon Michael says that’s enough. He farms 10,000 acres of tomatoes and corn in Central California.

“Compare a 25 percent reduction in urban use to a zero percent allocations for thousands of farms. I think it’s pretty clear that ag has already mandated to make considerable cuts.” 

The governor’s office says the stricter reporting requirements are intended to help state agencies’ enforcement efforts against water waste and illegal diversions.

Jason Peltier with the Westlands Water District says the mandate is a relief.

“An intangible value of this dramatic order is that it will shake up the agencies and say this really is a crisis folks, all hands on deck, let’s start taking some extraordinary actions.”

The governor’s plan also calls for taking action against water agencies who don’t share with the state data on how much groundwater they have or pump.

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