We hear a lot about how a shortage of irrigation water can hurt farmers, but the impact can be as great or greater on farmworkers. A documentary will be shown Thursday at Modesto's State Theatre on the historic 2009 march of Southern San Joaquin Valley farmers and agriculture workers who were demanding that their water supply be turned back on. "The Fight for Water: A Farm Worker Struggle" was made by Modesto Junior College graduate Juan Carlos Oseguera, 38, who was raised in the valley by parents who were migrant farmworkers.
The film focuses on the human impact of an environmental decision made to protect the delta smelt in 2009, when many West Side and south valley farmers received only a small portion of their usual irrigation allotment. The environmental order did not affect farmers in the Modesto and Turlock irrigation districts, which were at the time still enjoying their normal water supply from the Tuolumne River.
Thursday's showing is sponsored by the California Farm Water Coalition, the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau Federation, the California Poultry Federation and Mape's Ranch. Admission is $6 per person. The film begins at 7 p.m. A panel discussion will follow, featuring some of the film participants.