Valley Drought 2014: Congressional Hearing In Fresno - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Valley Drought 2014: Congressional Hearing In Fresno

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FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -

The House Natural Resources Committee held a field hearing in Fresno Wednesday seeking solutions to the California water crisis.  The committee featured 5 Valley Congressmen and another from Northern California.

Farmers who testified were very passionate about their plight and they were quick to point out that environmental restrictions are making it harder to stay in business.

Kern County farmer Larry Starrh got choked up Wednesday as he testified before the House committee.  "Due to the lack of water this year my family and I had to make the hard decision to dry up and let die close to a thousand acres of producing almond trees."

Tulare County farmer Mark Watte testified that environmentalists will do anything to see them fail.  "They don't care about fish.  They just don't want us to get our entitled water. "

Sylvia Chavez of Huron was the only Valley mayor to testify. Her town of 7-thousand people rely's on agriculture and without water there are no jobs.  "Because some couldn't pay their homes, couldn't pay the property tax, so we lost that money.  So the city was hit very hard with that.  That was in 2009 and we're looking for more shortage this year."

Weeks ago the House and Senate passed separate bills to deal with the drought.  So far there has been no compromise.  One farmer who testified put it bluntly to the committee, "The time to talk is over.  Do something!"

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