Growers & Lawmakers Hope Governor Declares State of Emergency - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Growers & Lawmakers Hope Governor Declares State of Emergency

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FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -

California State Assemblyman Jim Patterson says, "We are drying out - and dying out and it's that serious."

Worried about the current water crisis, Patterson calls on Governor Jerry Brown to act quickly and declare a state of emergency over the drought.

Patterson says, "He's got to act! He's got executive authority and great leadership abilities with the federal government if he would be on our side, instead of ignoring serious pleas for leadership."

Patterson says it would not only allow growers to get the water they need to survive, and save people from losing their jobs.

But it would also send a clear message to President Obama of how dire the situation really is in California.

Patterson says, "We are dying out and drying out, and 2014 could be a very difficult banner year for the kinds of problems that we are warning about."

Patterson also sent a letter, calling for the federal government to stop water releases from Friant dam for the San Joaquin river restoration program.

Since 2009 the program has released water from Millerton Lake on an interim basis. The goal is to bring back salmon population.

An agreement calls for those releases to become permanent in 2014.

Patterson says, "Only the government would do something so futile, as to waste all of that water. Sending it down a river that hasn't been prepared or ready to take that water, this is insanity. I am hoping the President, and our members of congress and the governor will wake up to this.

Patterson says he's not seeking to have environmental projects eliminated, but feels human needs have to come first.

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