When it comes to the Central San Joaquin Valley, most residents will tell you - it's all about the agriculture. Rich in soil and history, the Valley has always taken great pride in the role it plays in providing the world with farm fresh foods.
Fold in a thriving economy of jobs and commerce and the region has created a recipe for industry innovation. There is just one crucial ingredient that must be preserved at all cost - water.
Unfortunately, due to recent drought conditions, water has become something of a precious commodity these days. And that's why Proposition 1 -- the water bond -- must be successfully supported in order for California to continue to prosper.
“The water bond is not perfect, but it will go a long way in helping the future of agriculture. When we support this measure, we are investing in the economic vitality of our Valley, creating jobs in California and providing food and fiber for our country," said Ash Knowlton, vice president of construction at McCaffrey Homes and California Building Industry Association (CBIA) board member.
Water is a vital resource - the life force - that allows the native agricultural efforts within the Valley to thrive. Without it, California faces a real threat to jobs and business production and to the proud farming and ranching enterprises throughout the state.
Residents will have the opportunity to be heard on the issue when they cast their votes on Proposition 1 in the midterm elections in November.
“The current water bond was built on the hard work of the 2009 water bond that was also a bi-partisan success story and championed by the Valley's own Senator Dave Cogdill. Dave did a great job then and he is doing a great job now as president and CEO of the California Building Industry Association," Knowlton said.
Without a bold economic plan in place for keeping water flowing through our farms, the region and the state at large cannot be expected to survive the lapse.
“The water bond on the ballot this November was made possible by a successful agreement between Governor Jerry Brown and a bi-partisan coalition of legislators and it deserves our support," Knowlton said. “It's an essential component of keeping our local economy stable and our farms fertile and flourishing."
Knowlton added: “Many of us still believe we need to build more schools and to upgrade the current ones we have so that we can keep that promise for our kids and our teachers, but that discussion is for another day. For today, let's say yes to water infrastructure and an improved future for all Californians."