7.15.08 Water and Power Subcommittee to Hold Drought Hearing in Fresno

"The drought is having a dramatic impact on our crops, and, as a result, on farmers and farm workers and the overall economy of the Valley," said Costa.  "We need to find both short-term and long-term solutions to this problem, and it is my hope that this hearing can help us do that."

Last month, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in the nine Valley counties due to two years of below-average rainfall, very low snowmelt runoff, and court-ordered restrictions on water transfers.  The Governor's drought designation came after the driest spring on record and an announcement by the Federal Bureau of Reclamation that they would be further reducing Central Valley Project water deliveries to agricultural users south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Fresno Mayor Alan Autry will welcome the Subcommittee and give an introductory statement.

The following individuals will testify before the Subcommittee:

Panel 1

The Honorable Phil Larson, Fresno County Supervisor, Fresno, California
The Honorable Robert Silva, Mayor, City of Mendota, Mendota, California
Mr. Roger Palomino, Economic Opportunities Commission & Drought Relief Strategies Group, Fresno, California, accompanied by Mr. Carlos Ramirez, Farm Worker
Mr. Cort Blackburn, Farmer, Firebaugh, California
Mr. Kole Upton, East Central Valley Resident, Chowchilla, California

Panel 2

Mr. Dan Nelson, Executive Director, San Luis- Delta Mendota Water Authority, Los Banos, California
Mr. Tom Birmingham, General Manager, Westlands Water District, Fresno, California
Mr. Ron Jacobsma, General Manager, Friant Water Authority, Lindsay, California
Philip Duffy, PhD, Chemistry, Materials, and Life Sciences Directorate, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California

Panel 3

Mr. Don Glaser, Mid-Pacific Regional Director, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Sacramento, California accompanied by Ms. Claudia C. Faunt, Ph.D., P.E., Hydrologist U.S. Geological  Survey California Water Science Center
Mr. John Smythe, Farm Services Agency State Executive Director, U.S. Department of Agriculture, California, accompanied by Mr. Jim Otto, Senior Risk Management Specialist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Davis, California
Mr. Lester Snow, Director, California Department of Water Resources, Sacramento, California

WHO: House Subcommittee on Water and Power

WHAT: Field Hearing on California's Drought

WHEN: Monday, July 21st, 2008 at 10:00am

WHERE: Fresno City Council Chambers
            2600 Fresno Street
            Fresno, CA 93721