Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Water supply

Study disputes need to conserve farm water


From Bakersfield Californian - Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011

From California Watch - Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011

From Modesto Bee - Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011

Coalition response...This story is factually incorrect in several areas. First, the study by the Center for Irrigation Technology at CSU Fresno does not dispute the need to conserve ag water as stated by the headline. The study disputes claims that millions of acre-feet of water could be used elsewhere if farmers improved their conservation practices. Conservation is an important tool for all California water users and to suggest otherwise is a fallacy.

Second, the Pacific Institute suffers from an overwhelming misunderstanding of irrigation practices in agriculture. Many crops are not suitable for drip or micro-irrigation systems despite their claim that switching would automatically conserve water or increase production. These types of pressurized irrigation systems also consume more energy, something the Pacific Institute expresses concern over in some of their other reports. Numerous factors affect the decisions farmers make on selecting an irrigation systems and that's what dedicated irrigation experts consider when designing an irrigation system.

Lastly, this article suggests that farmers are pumping from groundwater aquifers because it is cheaper, which "makes crops like rice seem artificially cheap to produce." This statement is false and contrary to the reality of rice farming. Rice farmers in the Sacramento Valley rely on surface water delivered by local public water agencies to provide the needed irrigation water. In fact, more than 95% of the valley's rice acreage is irrigated with surface water. Furthermore, despite quoted claims to the contrary in the article, the consumptive use of water in rice is about the same as any other crop grown in the same region.

California agriculture is complex. Understanding it on a level that is useful in the debate over water policy requires more than a spreadsheet and an agenda.




By John Howard

From California Water Wars - Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011

Former Judge Wanger representing Westlands Water District


From Fresno Bee - Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011

Judge Wanger back in the news


By Alex Breitler

From Record Blog - Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011

Ex-judge in state water cases now lawyer for big farm district


From Contra Costa Times - Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011

Former judge goes to work for Westlands Water


From Sacramento Bee - Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011


Comments taken on divisive Delta Plan


From Union Democrat - Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011

Federal, state agencies pledge 'transparency' on Bay-Delta Conservation Plan


From Lodi News-Sentinel - Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011

Federal, State partners announce updates on transparency, release of draft technical documents

Press release

From BDCP - Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011

Delta studies to be released after complaints from Congress, others


From Contra Costa Times - Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011


San Joaquin River salmon restoration in a year? Really?


By Mark Grossi

From Fresno Bee - Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011

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