California Farming Issues

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Antelope Valley:

Water – tops the list of important issues affecting Antelope Valley agriculture, the cities and building industry. Los Angeles county Waterworks District No. 40 in their complaint for Declaratory and Adjudication of Water Rights filed in Superior Court states that “the district is informed and believes and on that basis alleges that farming in the Antelope Valley constitutes waste and is an unreasonable use of water and is injurious to the public and thereby unlawful”. Los Angeles County Waterworks District No. 40 believes they have prescriptive rights to the groundwater and believe their rights are superior to any overlying rights of farmers. To see the court documents regarding this case see the links below:

Adjunication Court Documents
Map AV Adjunicated Area (6MB)
LACFB Water Policy

How do we in agriculture remind the general public that the fresh, healthy and safe food supply they have grown accustomed to in California and locally needs to remain protected and high on everyone’s priority list? Please consider calling or writing the “Public Water Suppliers” regarding your concerns.

Los Angeles County Waterworks District No. 40
Palmdale Water District
Rosamond Community Services District
Quartz Hill Water District
Littlerock Creek Irrigation District
Palm Ranch Irrigation District
Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency

Reclaimed Water – use and protection of this basin’s ground water is an issue we have been working on for several years. Working in conjunction with Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s office, rural town councils, BIA, local chambers, Board of Trade and the late Senator Pete Knight’s Water Group we strived and succeeded in bringing a higher level of waste water treatment to the Antelope Valley. As the growth of both cities and county areas continues to climb, so does the amount of waste water produced by this growth. This is an issue not many homeowners give a second thought to – other than the water that runs off their lawns down the street, what happens to the remainder of their household waste water?

Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board
State Water Resources Control Board

Burn Regulations – have recently been revised in a collaborative effort with Los Angeles County Fire Department, Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District and the Los Angeles County Farm Bureau in an effort to allow both agricultural burns and homeowners the ability to continue to burn their tumbleweeds. Working towards mutual goals with involved agencies continues to be the best plan for success.

Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District
Los Angeles County Fire Department

Environmental Protection – The protection of the environment is a top priority for the farming and ranching community. This is the land, water and air their families depend on to raise their crops and families. Being excellent neighbors with our urban neighbors is also a primary goal of the agricultural community. But for us to continue the wonderful life we have come to enjoy here in the Antelope Valley, both parties must learn and grow with each other.

California Environmental Protection Agency

Los Angeles County Sanitation District – Palmdale Groundwater Issues – The contamination of groundwater due to 50 years of the Sanitation District flowing non-disinfected wastewater out onto the desert has resulted in a huge nitrate plume located under the Palmdale Regional Airport property. It has been determined by the Lahanton Regional Water Quality Control Board has issued a clean-up and abatement ruling that the Sanitation District is responsible for the clean and can no longer flow this water onto the porous soil of the desert. The newest legal letter from the Sanitation District attorneys state “local ground water quality degradation has occurred, which appears to be associated with treated wastewater land spreading disposal policies”. But that is not enough – now after several years they are working very diligently to include irrigated agriculture operations to take a portion of their responsibility. Although Lahanton Regional Water Quality Control Board has a slide showing that is agriculture increased on the airport property, nitrate levels in the monitoring wells decreased.

Los Angeles County Sanitation District

State of California:
For current legislative issues covering California:
cfbf.com/issues/policy/leg05.cfm

National:
For current legislative issues covering the Nation:
www.fb.org/fbn/