Hey Billy, this kinda sucks, neh? Can you say Perfect Storm? Fuh,
fuh, fuh, Forty thousand jobs in one sector in one state.
Excerpt: full article above
Drought to cut off federal water to Calif. farms
Friday, Feb. 20, 2009
By GARANCE BURKE - Associated Press Writer
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Federal water managers said Friday that they
plan to cut off water, at least temporarily, to thousands of
California farms as a result of the deepening drought gripping the
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials said parched reservoirs and
patchy rainfall this year were forcing them to completely stop surface
water deliveries for at least a three-week period beginning March 1.
Authorities said they haven't had to take such a drastic move for more
than 15 years.
The situation could improve slightly if more rain falls over the next
few weeks, and officials will know by mid-March if they can release
more irrigation supplies to growers.
Farmers in the nation's No. 1 agriculture state predicted it would
cause consumers to pay more for their fruits and vegetables, which
would have to be grown using expensive well water.
"Water is our life - it's our jobs and it's our food," said Ryan
Jacobsen, executive director of the farm bureau in Fresno County.
"Without a reliable water supply, Fresno County's No. 1 employer -
agriculture - is at great risk."
The drought would cause an estimated $1.15 billion dollar loss in
agriculture-related wages and eliminate as many as 40,000 jobs in
farm-related industries in the San Joaquin Valley alone, where most of
the nation's produce and nut crops are grown, said Lester Snow,
director of the Department of Water Resources.
"What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to
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