Valley farmers face zero water allocation next year
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The drought and pumping restrictions in the Delta have some Valley farmers making very painful cropping decisions.
Water delivered from the San Luis Reservoir in Los Banos keeps crops going on farms in Western Fresno County. But farmers received just 20 percent of their water allocation this year.
To fill the void growers like Paul Betancourt have been pumping well water.
"Groundwater for me is the emergency. It's the back-up plan. We need district water to survive," Betancourt said.
Pumping water from underground costs more and the quality, it is not good for crops like tomatoes, lettuce and almonds.
" This is salt that comes with the irrigation water. It layers on top. It's a very thin layer on top but accumulating that over time you'll poison the soil," Betancourt said.
Betancourt said this is the time of year to make cotton crops. But as for next year's outlook, the Westlands Water District has braced growers for the worst case scenario.
"Looks grim. Water district had a meeting with and they said get ready for zero percent deliveries," said Betancourt.
Gayle Holman of Westlands said, "our growers are struggling just to keep their operations going at 20 percent. To go lower than that is really something that's just unthinkable, and it would be extremely devastating not only to what growers produce but to our economy."
Betancourt expects to see growers next year plant less cotton, less wheat, less tomatoes and other crops - which could result in higher prices for consumers.
ag report, fresno, fresno county, agriculture, ag watch, dale yurong
- Teacher shot at Edison High School in Fresno 20 min ago
- SoCal tour bus crash injures 22, kills 1
- Operation Bulldog cracks down on gang members
- Patriarch off 'Duck Dynasty' after gay comments
- Murders, car thefts, robberies up in Visalia other crimes down
- In-N-Out opens in Hanford
- Figure skating champ Boitano says he's gay
- Police arrest escaped Merced C.O. Jail inmate
- Target: 40M card accounts may be breached
- New Mexico Supreme Court: Same-sex marriage legal
- Elderly woman critically injured in Fresno house fire
- Fresno attorney reenacts testimony from Kai
- Man accused of killing Los Banos boy in crash changes plea
- Teen girl found dead in Madera County stream
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos