As 2013 came to a close, it ended as the driest year in recorded history for many areas of California and the severe drought continues into 2014.
The drought has hurt more than just our farmers. When the farmers' crops dry up, the farm workers lose their jobs, businesses lose their customers, and families pay higher prices at the grocery store.
The drought affects everyone. To learn how you can help, visit the Kern County Farm Bureau at KernCFB.com.
According to Mike Wade of the California Farm Water Coalition:
"More than 3 million acre-feet of water that once served farms, homes, and businesses has been 're-prioritized' each year for environmental purposes. Unfortunately, unlike urban and agricultural public water agencies, environmental uses are not required to meet any sort of efficiency standards.
"Taxpayers should be concerned that public funds and water resources used for evironmental restoration activities may not returne the value to the state that they expect. Absent efficiency standards, even the most rudimentary ones, a tremendous amount of water and money can be wasted with no accountability.
"As the State Water Resources Control Board considers new flow standards on the Tuolumne River, farmers in the Turlock and Modesto irrigation districts and others stand to lose almost one-third of the surface water that they depend on to irrigate their crops. Any benefits that water will have for the environment are undetermined. Environmental water use efficiency standards are long overdue."
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