Mario Santoyo, Director of the California Latino
The Delta Water Summit will be held on August 3, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at
Fresno State’s Satellite Student Union. The Summit is intended for
farmers and the community as a whole to hear what’s going on from key
legislators, administration (state and federal) and water agencies.
“What’s going on?” asks Mario Santoyo, Organizer of the
Summit and Director of
The California Latino Water Coalition, an organization dedicated expressly to
helping constructively craft solutions to California's water crisis and ensure
that our state's vital water supply needs are met now and in the future.
Although formed as a voice for Latinos, the Coalition is a positive force
benefitting all Californians.
“If I am a farmer, and I am having difficulty getting my
water for farming, I would want to know—what people are doing?” said Santoyo. “This
is an opportunity to bring all the key players to Fresno and give the community
a chance to ask these types of questions.”
“There is no question this is an emergency situation now,”
Santoyo clarified. “We constantly hear about the long-term solutions including
the twin tunnels, but they won’t be built for ten years.”
“If I am a farmer today, struggling, and I hear that next
year we’ll may have zero water allocation, or even ten or twenty percent,
coupled with the current bad year, I am
probably looking at going out of business,” warned Santoyo.
“I want to know what are our legislators are doing to help
us find a solution for tomorrow,” Santoyo commented. “Our legislators can get focused,
work in a bipartisan way and encourage their other colleagues to get involved. The
key thought here is that they have to find a way to work together. I think our
Valley legislators, for the most part, have been successful in that regard, but
we have to be more successful.”
“I think it is important for all of us, in general, to get
to a point to where we all know what we need to do, agree on how we are going
to do it, and then work together to try to make it happen,” noted Santoyo.
“If we don’t reach a temporary, interim solution within the
next two to three months, we are guaranteed to have a crisis next year,” warned
Santoyo. “So, we need to be doing
something, and it needs to be now.”