California Farmers Brace for Water Shortage Despite El Nino

Published: Jan. 18, 2016 at 1:21 AM PST
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Farmers in California's fertile San Joaquin Valley are bracing to receive no irrigation water from the federal government for a third consecutive year.

They're hoping for El Nino-driven storms to produce the very wet winter they need. Reservoirs and groundwater supplies are critically low after four drought years.

Dave Kranz of the California Farm Bureau Federation says growers need two or possibly three wet winters to return to normal.

Westlands Water District, which supplies irrigation water to San Joaquin Valley farms, received no federal supplies for the last two years. Spokeswoman Gayle Holman says the district is preparing farmers for a third such year.

Lester Snow of the California Water Foundation says California needs to modernize its water system to endure such volatility.

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