Clarity at 23,000 feet

By Jim Morris

Flying home from a family trip to Washington State, I had a window seat of the significant drought our state is dealing with. So dry, so many normally productive fields lay idle.

There certainly were telltale signs of the Sacramento Valley in summer – with green rice fields and orchards sprinkled in, along with the Sacramento Valley still looking fairly robust from my vantage point. However, the view was a grim reminder of the losses incurred to our farms. Fewer crops are a kidney punch to our economy, especially in the Central Valley where farming is the foundation. It also makes me wonder about the impact of fewer rice fields shallowly-flooded in the fall, as millions of ducks and geese visit as part of their great migration.

Good water stewardship is so important right now. Predictions of a wet fall and winter from El Nino also give a glimmer of hope. Also so important to our future is Sites Reservoir, which would provide insurance for future dry years.

Hopefully future summer trips above the valley will yield a lot more in the river and more green on the landscape.


Jim Morris is Communications Manager for the California Rice Commission. Jim has worked in communications for more than 20 years. When he’s not on the job, he enjoys his family, faith, football, outrageous monster stories and running marathons.