Central Coast farmers excited for the spring

Winter rain, full reservoirs, happy farmers..

Farmers: Monterey County should...

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. - Winter storms have battered and beaten up the Central Coast, but they've also turned the hillsides very, very green.

"We need the rain, I have a rain gauge in my backyard and I've gotten, since October 15th, 37 and a half inches of rain," said Paco Garcia, Prunedale resident.

Someone else who is pretty excited about this past winter is Monterey County farmer Matthew Cauley.

"Nice to see cattle in the hills, green grass, wildflowers should start coming soon and most importantly water in the Salinas River," said Cauley.

Groundwater is extremely important for Monterey County, especially through the Salinas Valley. On average, about 550,000 acre-feet of groundwater is used per year and 90% of that is for agriculture.

Headed into spring, Lake Nacimiento is 86% full and Lake San Antonio is nearly half full. But despite how healthy local reservoirs are now, Cauley said the county really needs to carefully manage the water in them.

"Being accountable and being responsible as far as what water they're going to be letting out, it's going to be huge for the sustainability and future of the Salinas Valley," added Cauley.

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