Ag Today June 2, 2017

Sen. Dianne Feinstein visits the Valley to talk water and ag

Sen. Feinstein visits the Valley

By: Gregory Woods, Your Central Valley

Posted: Jun 01, 2017 05:40 PM PDT

Fresno, Calif. –
Senator Dianne Feinstein made a trip to the Valley Thursday to talk Ag and water.

She started her day at Terranova Ranch, where she met local farmer Don Cameron.

When heavy rain finally hit the drought stricken Valley, they stored the flood water to recharge the farm’s aquifers.

“We’re actually flooding our vineyards, our almond orchards, and our olive orchards to bring groundwater to a higher level,” said Don Cameron, General Manager.

It’s a strategy that caught the attention of Feinstein.

“Groundwater recharge is not considered a beneficial use of water within California and federally so we’d love to see legislation to change that,” said Cameron.

Cameron says that would allow them to qualify for grants so more farmers could put the infrastructure in place to recharge groundwater.

“We might be able to find ways to do this with low cost where the federal government can help, because there is a broad public cause to getting those aquifers refilled,” said Feinstein.

The Senator continued her water conversation at a luncheon at the Double Tree Hotel in downtown Fresno.

Feinstein talked about her $558 million bill passed in December to help alleviate the drought.

“There’s money for waterSMART, money for water recycling and even money for groundwater recharge,” said Feinstein.

Feinstein’s luncheon was priced at $500.00 a table, the money will be used for scholarships.

A small group of protesters outside the event say they demand a free townhall for all to attend not just the local elite.

“We just feel that it’s unfair that San Francisco and Los Angeles got town halls for free in April yet she’s never done that for Fresno,” said Emily Cameron, local Activist.

It’s unsure if a townhall will happen in Fresno soon, but the small group of protesters keep hope alive.

Cameron also keeps hope alive that the Senator will help them recharge local aquifers.

Feinstein ended her trip to the Valley with a roundtable to talk about human sex trafficking.