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Potential water cuts from the Colorado River could impact farmers

Bear Valley Organic Farm.jpg
Posted at 5:49 PM, Apr 12, 2023

VALLEY CENTER, Calif. (KGTV) — The very real threat of losing water from the Colorado River is the potential cuts to California's agriculture.

The Imperial Valley alone has 500 thousand acres of farmland at the lower basin of the Colorado River.

Farms like Bear Valley Organic Farm in Valley Center run on water.

"We have wine grapes," said Alex Kallus, an agriculture expert. "We have varieties of Greek olive oil."

Kallas has been working in the agriculture industry for 25 years.

He manages several agricultural operations in North San Diego County.

"Here in valley center specific and San Diego County, we get a mixture of delta conveyance from San Joaquin Valley, and we also get from San Diego Water Authority's attachment to the Colorado River," he said.

The Colorado River is a hot topic right now, with the Biden Administration looking to reserve water by cutting back its flow to states like California.

"We've been challenging our resources for many years," he said.

He said if water allotment to the Colorado River is cut, farmers are going to need to get creative in how they water their crops.

He was able to cut water usage by 50 percent by installing alternatives.

He says simple solutions like understanding water irrigation decrease farms' water footprints.

"I field tested the water holding capabilities. I looked at the specific variety of the vines, the soil structure, and then looked at the current at that time the watering schedule," he explained.

He said if the water in the Colorado River depletes, we will too because water is life.