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Opinion

Readers React: Farmers are adapting to new climate realities and are ready to work with Gov. Newsom

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Sprinklers irrigate a field near Salinas, Calif., in 2015.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: My organization agrees with the L.A. Times editorial calling for a plan to help California’s precious water supply keep up with changes brought by global warming. We also think it’s important to recognize the progress we’ve made.

Urban users have fully embraced conservation. In the Los Angeles area, on average, the amount of water once needed to supply one household now meets the needs of three.

California farmers have also made great strides, bringing modern technology to the art of farming, growing some of the most water-efficient food in the world. That’s good for all Californians because food produced locally is fresher, meets higher safety standards and is more environmentally friendly than food imported from far away.

We applaud Gov. Gavin Newsom’s willingness to look at this issue with fresh eyes. Farmers stand ready to work with him and others on plans that are good for farms, cities and the environment.

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Mike Wade, Sacramento

The writer is executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition.

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To the editor: The editorial board rightly challenges Newsom to be bold and steely in a drive to update California’s water system in an era of rising global temperatures. The key points made are valid, but one massive problem is overlooked.

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The very same climatic conditions that are altering fresh water hydrology are contributing to sea level rise. The vast system of dikes and levees that protects the Central Valley from Pacific Ocean salt water may be able to hold it back when there is a 3-foot sea level rise in the year 2100. But the ocean level rise won’t magically stop there. It may be 13 feet by 2200 — and 30 feet by 2300.

Globally, fertile valleys and deltas are threatened by salt water intrusion due to sea level rise. California’s heartland is no exception.

Stefen Malone, West Hollywood

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