Water and food security



Last week’s front-page story, “Farmers left high and dry,” was a great article by Sophie Woodrooffe covering our Stage 4 water issues as farmers and food growers.

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As one of the farmers quoted in the article, I would like to clarify that my quote concluding the story did not reflect what I intended to say and was taken out of the context of a longer discussion. I would like to state that I am far from planning to “steal” food or water from anyone including our local government – in fact, my intentions are the total opposite. We work very hard on our farm to provide food and water security for us and the community for potential shortages to come. Having said that, I do encourage people to question existing water-restriction rules and speak up where they seem to make little sense.

We all need to take responsibility for our water situation, on a personal and on the local government level.

Personally, we need to get creative in saving our torrential winter rains close to home. Put on the snorkel and goggles and catch our precious downpours in storage tanks and other containers of any shape and size, keep it on the property as long as possible through water retention in swales and ponds, capture it in thick layers of mulch, shaded areas and through other landscaping tricks.

But we also urgently need the support of our government and elected officials in the form of more sophisticated water management and urgent action and true leadership; we have enough studies on the shelf and enough examples of proactive communities elsewhere. So many easy options come to mind, such as far-reaching incentive programs, new bylaws (e.g., the requirement to install a cistern with new buildings), a revision of our stage system – and a higher value has to be put on local sustainable food production.

Annette Clarke, Exotic Fruit Nursery, Roberts Creek

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