Monday, June 17, 2013

News articles and links from June 17, 2013


From: Richard Wilder, Sacramento Bee

Re: "California needs more water storage to end conflicts, bolster its economy" (Viewpoints, June 14): I agree with Sen. Dianne Feinstein that we should increase our water storage capacity. Until this is accomplished and since we are all in this together, the Bay Area should allow the water it is receiving from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir be sent to Southern California.

AsSilicon Valley and San Francisco are financial centers, the cost of desalination for their water source would be a drop in the bucket. This gesture of shared sacrifice will inspire the balance of the state to support joint efforts to solve our water shortage problem.

(Reader comment)
"Hey Mr. "facts"please  - or Mike or Tom or whoever you are --- would you be so kind to tell us..."  

Coalition Response... The California Farm Water Coalition, nor its staff, ever posts comments under a pseudonym.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Dan Nelson, Modesto Bee

Consumers depend on a reliable supply of the fresh fruits and vegetables we grow here in the Central Valley. The produce aisle of any ordinary grocery store across the country is usually stocked with an unbelievable variety of nutritious food products, many of which are grown here in California. Our (usually) plentiful supplies of water, rich soils and one of the few Mediterranean climates on earth, make California farmers the envy of the world. These dedicated and efficient family farmers provide almost half of the nation's fresh produce and a much higher percentage during the winter months.

From: Steve Knell, Modesto Bee

As general manager of the Oakdale Irrigation District I can't speak for other irrigation districts on the topic of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. However, I can speak from a perspective of our district on the Stanislaus River. The conservation plan is a complicated subject, so let me provide some building blocks as to the plan.


From: Heather Hacking, Chico Enterprise Record

Mysteries remain about the underground world of water in Butte County. But the recent Tuscan Aquifer Investigation answers some important questions.

Now scientists will decide what questions to ask in the future about the vast underground body of water beneath the Sacramento Valley.

Reports from the $2.9 million, three-year study were presented at the Butte County Water Commission last week, and previously at a meeting with the public in Chico. Funding came from Proposition 50.

From: David Sneed, The Tribune

Deep beneath the peaceful countryside, the North County's primary water source is facing an unprecedented crisis.

Over the past 30 years, levels in the underground aquifer have dropped precipitously, 80 to 100 feet or more in some areas.

These declines pose a profound threat for the region, residents and economy. Rural homeowners are facing the prospect of losing their homes because their wells are going dry. Vineyards could lose access to a crucial resource.

From: Garth Stapley, Modesto Bee

On June 2, water pressure at the rural home of Peter and Nancy Bakker slowed to a trickle.
Puzzled, they checked all over the house and yard for leaks or open spigots and found none. By June 4, the water disappeared altogether.

No more filling a glass from the kitchen tap. No more washing dishes or laundry. No more showers. "It's a bad issue," Nancy Bakker said.

Nothing's wrong, a service man said, with the pump that used to deliver water from their domestic well. The problem is that the well has been sucked dry by new wells nearby that are much stronger and deeper.


From: John Holland, Modesto Bee

If your sister asks for water, how do you say no?

That helps explain why the Modesto Irrigation District board agreed Tuesday to sell water to the neighboring Turlock Irrigation District to help it through the dry 2013.

An MID official referred to the TID as a "sister agency" in recommending that the sale go through. Other supporters noted how the two have cooperated for more than a century in managing the Tuolumne River for water and hydropower.

Water Supply

From: Mark Grossi, Fresno Bee

Massive San Luis Reservoir will turn into a mud puddle this August on the San Joaquin Valley's west side - maybe a historic low.

The mud puddle will be a symbol of frustration in the nation's biggest farm water district, Westlands Water District, which depends on this unique California reservoir. For 1.8 million Santa Clara County residents who get water from here, the shortage threatens both water quality and supply.

From: Marek Warszawki, Fresno Bee

Boaters and anglers should expect low water levels this summer in most of the lakes that make up the Big Creek Hydroelectric Project.

With runoff in the San Joaquin River drainage forecast to be just 44% of average, water storage throughout the system is expected to peak at about 64% of normal in mid-July, according to a memo issued last month by Southern California Edison.

From: Alejandro D'Avila, Imperial Valley Press

While water scarcity affects one in three people in the world, Imperial County is a desert with a reliable water source.

But that reliability, which comes from the Colorado River, the lifeblood for some 40 million people across seven states, could be compromised in coming decades, according to a recent study by U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Reclamation.


From: Heather Hacking, Chico Enterprise Record

Lawsuits have been filed to challenge plans for tunnels to divert water from the Sacramento River and under the delta.

Chico's AquAlliance has joined a coalition of groups in a lawsuit on the Delta Plan, which sets out the groundwork for water tunnels around the delta.

"The Delta Reform Act gave the Delta Stewardship Council a historic opportunity to remedy 40 years of water policy failures," a press release sent by the coalition Friday states.


From: Heather Hacking, Chico Enterprise Record

The Butte County Water Commission has formed a new committee to track plans for Sites Reservoir.

The idea of building an approximately $3 billion reservoir near Maxwell has been in the works for more than a decade. In 2010, the process became more formal, with formation of a Sites Joint Powers Authority (

The group, with members from water districts and Glenn and Colusa county officials, will likely release environmental documents on a proposed project this fall.

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