The following statement was issued by Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif in response to the announcement by regulators of the Central Valley Project (CVP) that farms and cities south-of-the-Delta will receive only a five percent water allocation this year:

“For months before the El Niño rain and snow arrived, we and many others pleaded with the federal government to capture and store as much water as possible when massive storm runoff reached the Delta. We have seen huge flows into, and out of, the Delta this year. Today’s announcement of a measly five percent allocation to farms and cities in the San Joaquin Valley, contrasted with the State Water Project’s 45 percent allocation, provides dark confirmation that a policy of destruction of farmland is in place. Already, well over 600,000 acre feet of water that could have been diverted to San Luis Reservoir has been lost to the ocean, and projections suggest that number will reach 1.5 million acre feet if common sense is not restored. The drought has hit farmers, farmworkers and thousands of families hard, but now with the northern reservoirs filled and spilling water to make room for spring snowmelt, the federal government has very deliberately chosen to deny available relief to thousands of Californians in the San Joaquin Valley. This action represents more than a failure of common sense. A government that deliberately chokes off water for its people is a government that has lost its moral compass.”