California farmers need a smoother system for transferring water and improvements in the state's water-delivery system if they are to survive another dry year, members of California’s State Board of Food and Agriculture say.
The board's water subcommittee met in Fresno today and will recommend to the full board and to state and federal officials that action needs to taken soon.
About 50 people attended the meeting at the Fresno County Farm Bureau.
"The talking is over," said Al Motna, state Board of Food and Agriculture president. "And the time to act is now."
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Motna said the process for approving the water-sale transfers must be streamlined to allow growers the opportunity to use the water in time for spring planting.
Growers and water district officials say the process is expensive and time-consuming. It can involve state and government agencies.
"When you pay $400 for water in October, there is not much crop left to farm that on," said Sarah Woolf, spokeswoman for the Westlands Water District. "It is hard to utilize that at such a late date."