There is a never a dull moment at the Resource Conservation District office. This past week our office has been bombarded with Japanese cakes, candies, photos, and videos. Sue, our director, just got back from a wedding in Japan and has been sharing Japanese goodies with all of us in the office. We even got to see videos of a sumo wrestling match she went to!
Despite all of the fun we have in the office, we also work, and we work hard. This past week I attended at least one meeting each day, all centered around the Community Water Dialogue. Driscoll’s is one of the main players in the dialogue. On Monday I got a tour of their fields in Watsonville and a rundown of how they go about growing their crops. They have various fields dedicated only for experimentation where they document their crop’s responses to different irrigation schedules, different amounts of nutrients, etc.
Already I’ve had the honor of meeting various growers around the Pajaro Valley. Most of these grow for Driscoll’s, but others grow independently or for other suppliers. Yesterday I met a blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry grower, who personally told me that reducing the amount of water he uses to irrigate his crops by using WIN has NOT affected his crops at all. He’s conserving water, his water bill went down, and he’s producing the same amount and quality of fruits.
Face to face interactions with growers, private industry folks, and government personnel is helping me grasp the uniqueness of the Community Water Dialogue on a deeper level. We all sit at these meetings voluntarily. Nobody is holding a gun to anybody’s head, forcing them to make an effort to conserve water. All of the people involved in this dialogue are because they understand the urgency of this issue. WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF WATER. When will everybody else in the Pajaro Valley join? When they’re affected personally? When the issue becomes catastrophic? I certainly hope not.