Water relief is on the way – if Congress works together

A recent study by UC Davis confirmed that the Central Valley continues to suffer the brunt of the drought, to the tune of $630 million this year and $5.5 billion over the past three years. Farmers have fallowed more than 1 million acres of land, and 42,000 people have lost their jobs.

But we need to look beyond the numbers. Small farms have gone bankrupt. Generations of farmers have lost their livelihoods, including a cantaloupe farmer I recently met with who lost the farm his grandfather started. He and his father had worked that land side-by-side for decades.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has proposed legislation that would provide more water for the San Joaquin Valley without violating the Endangered Species Act. The challenge will be getting it passed through the partisan gridlock of Congress.
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has proposed legislation that would provide more water for the San Joaquin Valley without violating the Endangered Species Act. The challenge will be getting it passed through the partisan gridlock of Congress. J. Scott Applewhite Associated Press file
The fires that have ravaged California this year – burning more than 300,000 acres – are a stark reminder that the effects of this drought will be long-lasting. Researchers at UCLA, for example, predict that we will need more than four years of average rainfall and snow just to dig ourselves out of this drought.

Read Senator Dianne Feinstein's entire article at fresnobee.com