Calif. authorities won’t dictate crops, irrigation amid drought

State authorities have no plans to mandate further water conservation efforts on farms even as Gov. Jerry Brown’s order that cities slash their water use by 25 percent has invited more scrutiny on agriculture. Some environmental groups, news outlets and users of social media expressed astonishment last week that Brown’s drought-related water cutbacks mostly spared farmers. Administration officials have maintained that growers have already faced severe cutbacks which caused some 400,000 acres of farmland to be fallowed last summer. Though political pressure is sure to mount as urban voters start feeling the drought’s impacts, state officials told the Capital Press they have no plans for more drastic measures such as requiring more widespread use of drip irrigation or dictating which crops can be grown in certain areas. <more>

April 8, 2015 Capital Press