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Its raining but more is still needed

By Stephanie Montano, smontano@krcrtv.com
Published On: Mar 25 2014 09:21:40 PM CDT
RED BLUFF, Calif. -

Even though rain is needed, local farmers said what’s been falling isn’t enough.

Tehama County Farm Bureau Vice-President Michael Vasey said even though Tehama County farmers aren’t short on water, rain is still needed.

Vasey is a third generation farmer at Lindauer River Ranch. He has been growing walnuts and prunes for the last ten years. He relies on underground water, which is why he hasn’t felt the drought.

But Vasey said just because it hasn’t affected his farm yet doesn’t mean it won’t in the future.

"What we need is that water for the summer to be there for farmers," said Vasey.

Vasey said he's lost some of his crops before.

"Heat affects our crops quite a bit especially prunes we had a fair amount of damage last year with high heat early in summer,” said Vasey.

This year Vasey’s crops were able to recover due to a stored water supply underground but that doesn't mean danger isn't in the future.

"Long term there’s a concern for amount of water that will be available with the surface water available through the canals, through rain the more people are putting in wells and its putting more demand on ground water," said Vasey.

Vasey said about 70 percent of Tehama Counties agricultural water comes from underground through a pump. During the summer this pump can be used up to 20 hours a day. Which makes water that comes from the aquifer very crucial.

"The rainfall is were it comes from at some point but its in the near term our ground water level has dropped a little but its not the point where it's a problem here yet,” said Vasey.

According to the California Department of Water Resources there are more than 13,000 water wells in Tehama county.