Farmers and farm workers will walk side-by-side to bring
attention to the economic impacts of water supply cut-offs
on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.
The April 14-17 March for Water, announced weeks ago, has
snowballed into an event that is expected to include
thousands of farm workers, farmers and business owners as
well as national media, celebrities and politicians.
The aim is to show the impact on people from the shut-off
of pumps that deliver water to Central Valley farms. Actor
Paul Rodriguez, who is part of the California Latino Water
Coalition, will lead the march. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is
expected to attend a rally on the final day and Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger may also attend.
Rodriguez said the four-day demonstration would draw
attention to the effects of the drought and zero water
deliveries to west side farms.
Fresno County Supervisor Phil Larson said that
unemployment in some communities is approaching 50
Bringing about a reliable water supply and improving water
quality for all Californians is the main goal. To make
that happen, organizers said the Endangered Species Act
should be suspended, allowing water to flow to farms. They
are also asking legislators to agree on a comprehensive
water plan and federal funds for water infrastructure
The 50-mile trek from the west-side farmworker community
of Mendota to the San Luis Reservoir will begin with a
rally at 8 a.m. Tuesday. The march continues north
Wednesday and Thursday and concludes at the San Luis
Reservoir on Friday.