From: John Lawrence, Sacramento Bee
There are no politics like water politics. For Westerners, and Californians in particular, no issue excites passions, fuels regionalism or hits the economic bottom line like water.
Facing a dry year and the prospect of quite a few more in the future thanks to climate change, the demands for massive new water development once again are rising to fever pitch, especially from Gov. Jerry Brown and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, both longtime proponents of water development. "The message is clear. ... California needs a lot more water storage - and we need it now," Feinstein wrote in a recent column in The Bee.
Taxpayers would be foolish to ignore the tremendous success that their investment in infrastructure has brought to our state and country. Since 1941 new tax revenue from farm operations, made possible by the federal Central Valley Project, totals $124.4 billion on an initial investment of just $7.3 billion.
John could learn a lot from talking with a modern California water user, much has changed since 1991. California's agricultural water users remain among the most progressive in the world, investing hundreds of millions annually in precision irrigation and water management to produce food and fiber. California's Water Plan Volume 2 discusses changes in irrigation methods, documenting significant shifts toward drip and micro-irrigation. Between 2003 and 2010, San Joaquin Valley farmers alone invested $2.1 billion dollars upgrading their irrigation systems. But improvements in water management are only one of California farm water success stories, learn more about the economic benefits of California's irrigated farms at www.moneygoeswherewaterflows.org
From: Bob Moffitt, KPBS
The mayors of California's largest cities met with Governor Jerry Brown Wednesday at the state Capitol. They talked about a host of issues including prison realignment, high speed rail and the governor's proposed Delta water project.
From: Layne Cameron, Western Farm Press
An international team of scientists has developed crop models to better forecast food production to feed a growing population - projected to reach 9 billion by mid-century - in the face of climate change.
From: Tonya Strickland, The Tribune
For years, Paso Robles thought its water supply was an endless bounty. City leaders sat atop a liquid treasure trove - a vast underground basin that in 1979 was said to have enough water to last the entire North County more than 250 years.
From: David Sneed & Julie Lynem, The Tribune
Residential wells in North County neighborhoods will continue to dry up, Paso Robles' wine industry will be in jeopardy, and city water supplies will be threatened unless San Luis Obispo County leaders act soon to stop declining water levels in the Paso Robles groundwater basin.
Faced with this unprecedented crisis, county officials and stakeholders know immediate steps must be taken to stabilize it. But they have only begun to develop viable solutions to balance the needs of homeowners, businesses and North County vineyards, by far the largest water users.
From: Pat Snelling, indybay.org
The delta is starving for water, so California officials setup a plan to take more water out of the delta. How does that make any sense?
California has had a long history of water wars, with many battles, and once again the state is gearing up for another fight.
From: John Garamendi
Today, several U.S. Representatives from northern California met with Secretary Sally Jewell of the U.S. Department of the Interior to discuss the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). The members expressed their opposition to Governor Jerry Brown's flawed plan for the BDCP and lack of input from stakeholders in the Bay-Delta Region.
From: Robert Gammon, East Bay Express
California is blessed with some of the most beautiful rivers in North America, and none is more breathtaking than the Merced. From its headwaters in Yosemite National Park, the river gradually grows larger before it cascades over two world-famous waterfalls - Nevada and Vernal - and then flows past El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite Valley. Once it leaves the park, the Merced begins its one-hundred-mile journey to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and San Francisco Bay. But a portion of the Merced is now in jeopardy of being destroyed, and if that were to happen, it could ultimately lead to the decimation of Northern California's last remaining unspoiled rivers.