The topic of this month and every other month it seems like is water. As many of you know, SGMA is underway as consultants are/have been hired to begin working on the plan (GSP) which will need to be submitted by 2020. Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) are starting to meet, and coordination efforts within each sub-basin are moving along. The County will be appointing the technical advisory committee for the County Responsibility Areas (White Areas) soon, and I would think the other GSAs will be doing the same as well. The sub-basins are working on a plan for stakeholder engagement, so workshops and information should begin to be dispersed in the near future. I urge all of you to follow what is going on within your respective GSAs, attend their meetings, and stay engaged. This regulation will impact everyone in some shape or form, and we all need to be a part of the solution, not the problem.
In other water news, there is information floating around on a new water bond that would provide funds for the Friant Division of the Central Valley Project, which includes the Friant-Kern Canal and the Madera Canal. Other benefits provided in the bond measure that relate to the Central Valley currently include: Funds for safe drinking water and wastewater treatment for disadvantaged communities; Funds for implementing SGMA; and funds to repair the Oroville Dam Spillway. We (Madera County Farm Bureau) plan to bring in the author of the bond, Dr. Gerald Meral, for a presentation explaining the bond more in depth. Please keep watch for updates on when this presentation will take place, as we are working to arrange a date. One last piece of water information for now…For those that may not be aware, the Temperance Flat application for Prop 1 money was submitted, and is currently under review. There have also been actions taken to start preparing for other funding opportunities and presentations by entities including the San Joaquin Valley Water Infrastructure Authority (SJVWIA) and Friant Water Authority (FWA) have commenced. MCFB will also be scheduling a workshop providing information about the Prop 1 application as well as options for Temperance Flat without Prop 1 funds. We intend to have Bill Swanson, the consultant for SJVWIA, as a presenter, as well as Jason Phillips from FWA. Please also stay tuned for the date of this event.
On the Farm Bureau front, I would like to take just a moment to thank all of our supporters for their continuous efforts. The Ag United Harvest Celebration and Annual Meeting held in Chowchilla last month was a huge success! The Peterson Farm Brothers were a hit, and the food (prepared by Ed Brights Catering) was excellent! With the funds raised at this event, MCFB can continue to be the voice for agriculture, not only within the County, but throughout the state and nation. There have been many changes in crops, labor, regulations and much more during the past 102 years of MCFB’s existence. MCFB has continuously evolved as the times have changed, however we would not be able to do this without the help and support of our members. We now provide more advocacy work than ever before on behalf of local farmers and ranchers, tackling the serious issues that face agriculture. So, once again thank you for your support, and if there is anything specific you need assistance with please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Hoping everyone enjoys the holidays, and remember to give thanks for all that we have.