California State Assemblyman Jim Patterson | District 23
12/12/2013 | Press Release

Assemblyman Patterson and Central Valley Lawmakers Call on Governor Brown to Declare Drought Now


 
December 12, 2013
 
Assemblyman Patterson and Central Valley Lawmakers
Call on Governor Brown to Declare Dought Now
 
FRESNO - Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) joined several Central Valley legislators Wednesday in calling on Governor Jerry Brown to issue a drought declaration in light of the current drought conditions farmers are facing.
 
"Right now our Central Valley farmers are facing a five percent water allocation from the Department of Water Resources," Assemblyman Patterson said. "It is clear to us that the consequences will be catastrophic if we don't address this situation now."
 
The letter sent to Governor Brown is below:
 
December 11, 2013
 
The Honorable Jerry Brown, Governor
State of California
State Capitol, First Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
 
Dear Governor Brown,
 
The water forecast for next year is looking especially grim, and we believe that we are facing the realistic possibility of experiencing true drought conditions that we have not seen since the mid 1970's when California experienced the driest two years in state history.
The California Department of Water Resources announced last month an initial 5% water allocation for California State Water Project contractors for 2014. Additionally, we are facing the strong possibility of a 0% water allocation for contractors within the Central Valley Project when the United States Department of Reclamation announces their initial allocation. While we understand that these are initial allocations, the already record low reservoirs levels around the state compounded with a projected mild winter lead us to believe that we will experience dramatic drought conditions next year.
These grim water projections require critical action now when there is still enough lead time to implement policies and regulations to ensure that adequate water can be captured during what little snowpack and precipitation the state may see over the first few months of next year. With these drought conditions already in motion we request that you issue a drought declaration for the upcoming year. We also ask that your administration work with federal and state agencies to find ways to use their discretion to ensure a proper allocation of water through both the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project for the millions of Californians whose livelihoods depend on a realistic supply of water.
Without immediate action, we worry about the thousands of acres of farmland that will be taken out of production due to a lack of water, increased cost of food and livestock feed, depletion of scarce groundwater, devastating increases in water rates, and the obliteration of jobs dependent on agriculture in the Central Valley and throughout California that rely on water.
 
Thank you for your consideration.
 
Sincerely,
 
Andy Vidak
Senator, 16th District
 
Rudy Salas
Assemblymember, 32nd District
 
Anthony Cannella
Senator, 12th District
 
Frank Bigelow
Assemblymember, 5th District
 
Adam Gray
Assemblymember, 21st District
 
Jim Patterson
Assemblymember, 23rd District
 
Connie Conway
Assemblymember, 26th District
 
Tom Berryhill
Senator, 14th District