Yuma is to Agriculture What Silicon Valley is to Computers
Approximately 170 million servings of lettuce are produced in the Yuma area each day from November to April, the height of the region’s leafy greens production. Another way to understand the peak production of healthy vegetables, between the months of November and April, 90% of the U.S. and Canada's leafy greens and other vegetables come from the Yuma area. But, with our water crisis in the West, this amazing production of these critical vegetables is at risk.
A prolonged drought in the West is making the fate of the Colorado River less certain. As a result, agriculture overall in the West is at risk. Agricultural water is extremely important to the Yuma growing region, the Winter Lettuce capital of North America.
Sharing Their Story
Yuma's agricultural industry recently put together a webpage and video to illustrate what could happen if the Yuma area does not get its water allocations from the Colorado River.
Yuma's agricultural industry recently put together a webpage and video to illustrate what could happen if the Yuma area does not get its water allocations from the Colorado River. Yuma enjoys resources - water, soil, climate, labor, and infrastructure – that allow for the efficient production of the Nation's food supply. Reduced water supplies for Yuma will mean fewer healthy foods available for consumers.
Generations of farmers have built the most efficient and productive agricultural ecosystem in Yuma, Arizona. Crop per drop (how much food is produced per acre-foot of water): Yuma is about 75% more efficient than the rest of the Colorado River Basin. Yuma farmers conserve water by leveling fields, using the precise amount of water needed for each crop, and tracking every gallon of water used. Yuma area growers are feeding more people with fewer resources and continually looking for ways to become more efficient.
"Yuma is about 75% more efficient than the rest of the Colorado Basin. If you cut water from Yuma, society will be giving up more than if you make cuts elsewhere," says Dr. George Frisvold, an agricultural economist with the University of Arizona and also featured in the video.
Key Organizations in the Making of the Video
Yuma County Agricultural Water Coalition is a coalition of five irrigation districts and one water users association operating and delivering water in Yuma County, Arizona and one water district operating and delivering water in Bard, California. All members have entitlements to the Colorado River. Learn more at https://agwateryuma.com/.
Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association protects, connects, and promotes the Yuma farming community. Yuma fresh works to solve issues for the farming community connects people through networking and education events and promotes the contributions of Yuma agriculture. Learn more at https://yumafreshveg.com/.