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Water Outlook Remains Grim for Valley Farmers

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SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY-

Water is at the center of life and growth but right now in California, it’s synonymous with anxiety.

“We’re all nervous. You don’t do anything in this state without water,” Paul Sanguinetti of Sanguinetti Ranch said.

As a fourth generation farmer, Sanguinetti  walks ground he shouldn’t have to be irrigating in January.

He knows the pump he had to fix last week isn’t the biggest problem he’ll be up against in his wheat field in the months ahead.

“What do we do with next year when we start out with the reservoirs? They’re going to be empty,” he said.

In this severe drought, just watering his wheat three times between now and May will cost $16,000 dollars in power alone.

He says his well is fine for the time being for some of his fields, but soon Sanguinetti’s walnut trees will have to have good long drinks from surface water lines.

As a farmer and board member for the East Stockton water district, Friday’s word that leaders of the state water project have stopped water shipments to southern California for the first time ever is stunning.

“That says its bad,” he offered

This man who’s future is always bound-up with the flow of water – and especially now – says California can’t just get serious about conservation – it also has to get serious about water storage.

“We haven’t done a project in how long? Long time…and we have how many more people.  The water storage should grow with the population,” he said.

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