Since the escalation of water pricing beginning in the early 1990’s, price has been the chief water concern of farmers in San Diego County. Now, with the region’s imported water sources under siege at the source from drought conditions and regulatory actions, the concern has shifted to availability. While there are no remedies for ongoing drought or dry conditions, there are several actions that can be taken to help ensure sufficient supplies are available for local farmers.
First, more than one-half of the water used by San Diego County’s urban population is for landscape irrigation. The urban landscape is an important part of the community, but it is often the case that excessive amounts of water are used. It is important that residents are taught proper techniques on using just the right amount of water at just the right time. Second, local supply development must be maximized. In San Diego County that means water recycling and desalination. And third, important improvements to the state’s water infrastructure must be made. That includes repairs to the ailing Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta that supplies 60 percent of southern California’s imported water and creating more storage for water that can be gathered in wet years.
The San Diego County Farm Bureau works closely with the California Avocado Commission sponsored Southern California Ag Water Team in monitoring actions of the Metropoliton Water District of Southern California and the San Diego County Water Authority. Local water agencies must be paid attention to as well, and several Farm Bureau members sit on local water boards.