Farm Bureau supports groundwater charges

South County farmers vote to support the Santa Clara Valley
Water District’s groundwater charges by asking public not to file
protest votes
Dear Editor,

The Santa Clara County Farm Bureau Board of Directors has voted recently to support the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s proposed zero increase in groundwater charges for the third year in a row. We encourage your readers to join us in ensuring that the groundwater will continue to be replenished by the water district. We urge South County residents NOT to protest the district’s water charges, as a zero increase in water rates demonstrates smart economics in these fiscally tough times.

Our board of farmers and ranchers understands that an effective and adequately funded groundwater management program will assist in protecting the quality and supply of our local drinking water and will ensure the reliability of our local water supplies. By investing in groundwater recharge, South County residents will ensure adequate water supplies for our economy, promote open space, reduce the likelihood of groundwater overdraft, and provide opportunities for future generations.

Dr. David Sunding, Professor of Natural Resources Economics at UC Berkeley, performed an analysis of the economic impact on the loss of water on South County. This analysis produced staggering results: if South County experiences a 10 percent shortage in water supply, we could lose more than 300 jobs and over $112 million in sales revenues. Worse, a 30 percent shortage could result in the loss of over 3,700 jobs and more than $1 billion in sales revenues.

These figures are real, and indicate the gravity of the situation South County faces if the reliability of our water supply is thrown into jeopardy by a majority protest.

There is a lot of confusion and misinformation surrounding this issue. We invite you to join us and staff from the Water District at a roundtable meeting Thursday, March 11 from 7-8:30 pm at the Morgan Hill Community Center. The roundtable discussion will include a brief presentation from District staff followed by Q & A for community members.

It is in everyone’s best interests to support the district’s groundwater management program. That is why we ask you to help secure the future of our water supply and NOT to protest the groundwater charges. In doing so, you will help secure the future success of south county’s homes, businesses, and farms.

Jan Garrod, president, Santa Clara County Farm Bureau

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