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May 18, 2009

Drying Up

Drought and development have brought California to another crisis over water. 

Dick Gordon first speaks with Todd Allen. Todd was raised on a farm in the San Joaquin Valley and has run his own farm for 12 years. Last year, he invested in an expensive drip irrigation system to reduce his water use. In January, he was stunned to find out that for the first time, the federal government was allocating zero water to farmers in his region.

Dick also speaks with Larry Collins. Larry, based at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, has been a commercial salmon fisherman for 28 years. He depends on salmon for up to 70 percent of his income, but salmon fishing has been banned for the second consecutive year. Numbers are down in part because of low water flows in the delta rivers where salmon spawn. The water in those rivers is in high demand by farmers like Todd.

Although Todd and Larry are on opposite sides of the fight over water allocation, they share a passion for their work, and face potentially huge losses in income.

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