What is in this article?:
- Water policy issues critical to almond growers
- Decisions Based on Credible Data
- Water remains the lifeblood of California’s almond industry. California water policy is incredibly complex, driven by intense competition among very diverse interests.
Decreasing reliance on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is one of the goals set by the Delta Vision Task Force.
Decisions Based on Credible Data
In 2006, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger formed by executive order the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force, which was tasked with producing goals, ideals and a strategic plan by which water resources ought to be viewed, and thus governed. This Task Force identified certain values/principles/priorities by which they believed any decisions on California’s water resources should be predicated on the future.
Among the priorities developed by the Task Force were such things as:
• Improving local self-sufficiency,
• Decreased reliance on the Delta,
• Integration of all water resources within a region and among regions,
• Sustainable practices,
• Conservation measures, and
• Water use/reuse/multiple-use strategies.
More recent considerations have added these priorities:
• Based on scientifically sound practices and data, and
• Operated under “adaptive management” approaches utilizing responsive and flexible structures, policies and strategies.
All these approaches necessitate gathering and analyzing massive amounts of real-time, circumstantial data for effective real-time decision making.
The Delta Vision Task Force went further and recommended the construction of a dual conveyance system; changes and additions/modifications to current conveyance systems and storage facilities; and development of a thorough analysis and plan concerning all stressors affecting supply.
At present, there are many policy-related efforts underway, seeking to address California’s water needs now and into the future. Inherent in all these efforts are upsides and downsides to all interests and constituencies. As projects/strategies are contemplated, the values of balance, beneficial-use determinations and efficiencies will play heavily in the outcome of deliberations. Costs continue to be a crucial factor, not to mention the question of who will pay for improvements.
Almond producers/handlers have a major stake in the outcome, particularly the potential impacts and the associated costs of any of these efforts addressing California’s water supply allocation and distribution.
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