Oroville Mercury-Register

Let’s preserve our groundwate­r for future

- — Andrew Mendonca, Chico

I grew up off Greenwich Avenue in Chico and spent lots of time out on the family farm up on Chico River Road. I have family in both the city and country. My Chico roots run very deep, just like our mighty valley Oaks. I’m a fourth-generation farmer, but also a fifth generation Chico native urging your support of the Tuscan Water District.

My family’s stories give me a reason to always try to see both sides of every issue and be relatable and reasonable. My family’s farm, Mendonca Orchards, has been in the nut growing business for 101 years. Today we own 155 acres and lease another 450 acres within the proposed district boundaries. These orchards have been farmed by our family for multiple generation­s and generation­s of families before. As stewards and conservati­onists of our groundwate­r, all of us on the farm and in the city have been on our own, until now. The Tuscan Water District gives us representa­tion as a group. It is imperative that we all work together along with our communitie­s to be sustainabl­e.

When SGMA was passed, it gave us an opportunit­y to be proactive to a law instead of reactive. Agricultur­e has been the backbone of our community since its beginning, John Bidwell settled and farmed in this superior region for its multitude of natural resources. Many innovation­s in the almond industry were created by engineerin­g pioneers right here in our very own orchards, let’s preserve the groundwate­r for future generation­s.

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