Agriculture, water availability, economic vitality, and natural resource conservation are inextricably linked in enhancing the quality of life in Ventura County. According to the Ventura County 2013 Water Supply and Demand Report, agricultural water use accounts for nearly 60 percent of total water demand in the county. Water is essential to agricultural production, and its availability and supply source vary by location.
In addition to the need for a sustainable water supply for agricultural uses, the County must also ensure that agriculture does not negatively impact water quality. Tillage and irrigation are likely to alter the runoff and infiltration characteristics of the land, affecting groundwater recharge, and increasing erosion that can result in sediment deposit into surface-water bodies. This in turn could affect the interaction of groundwater and surface water. The policies in this section address the County’s role in balancing adequate water quality and a sufficient supply for agricultural uses in the county. An overview of water availability for agriculture in Ventura County is described in Section 10.4, “Existing Conditions,” of the Background Report