Wednesday, June 26, 2013

News articles and links from June 26, 2013

Water Supply

From: Steve Adler, Ag Alert
From: Steve Adler, Sierra Sun Times

Already struggling with short water supplies in 2013, farmers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley have been warned that next year could be worse.

That's the assessment of Tom Birmingham, general manager of the Fresno-based Westlands Water District, which buys water from the federal Central Valley Project. Growers this year are receiving a 20 percent allocation and, unless there is a very wet winter ahead, Birmingham said the initial CVP allocation next spring could be zero.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Mark Grossi, Modesto Bee

(This article previously appeared in the Fresno Bee.)
After hearing the state's top water leader talk about the Bay Delta Conservation Plan last week, I went online to check some of his facts.

I crashed my computer trying to download a lot of files. So let's just go straight to the talk last week at The Fresno Bee editorial board meeting, which broke little news.


From: Garth Stapley, Modesto Bee

It's nice to make some money while helping a close relative, Modesto Irrigation District leaders said Tuesday as they put final touches on a short-term deal to sell water to the Turlock Irrigation District.

It would be even nicer to have in place formal water-sale guidelines, some said, that might ease the rancor that accompanied a previous proposal to shop water to San Francisco.

Salton Sea

From: Alejandro Davila, Imperial Valley Press

Concerns over Imperial Irrigation District procurement practices were raised Tuesday as two public relations firms were hired by the Board of Directors to work on matters related to the Quantification Settlement Agreement and the Salton Sea.

Colorado River

From: Sandra Postel, National Geographic

The history of water, especially in the western United States, is largely one of reaching further out to distant water sources as population grows and local supplies get tight.

But five southern California cities that today rely heavily on water transferred hundreds of miles from the Colorado River and the San Francisco Bay-Delta are reversing this trend: they aim to cut their dependence on long-distance water imports by ramping up conservation, recycling and reliance on local supplies.

From: Bob Berwyn, Summit County Citizens Voice

Projections of future flows in the Colorado River have been all over the map, ranging from a 6 percent reduction in flows all the way up to a 45 percent drop.

Getting a better handle on that number is critical for water managers from Colorado to California, but fine-tuning models to address global warming impacts on the scale of a single river basin is a big challenge.


From: Laura van der Meer, Marysville Appeal-Democrat

The PVC pipes and drip lines have arrived, and prune farmer Raghbir Atwal is looking forward to having 40 more acres of his Yuba City orchards converted to a micro-irrigation system.

"I have not seen any drawbacks on this system," said Atwal, who has been farming since 1971. "I'm very happy."

Political Campaign

From: Andy Vidak, Bakersfield Californian

Water is the lifeblood of our Central Valley, and whoever wins this election will be representing over 900,000 people in Kern, Kings, Fresno and Tulare counties on this vital issue.

The economy in our Valley is driven by agriculture and that means we must have water. You don't need to drive a tractor to depend on agriculture for your livelihood. People who work in banks, stores, restaurants and other types of businesses rely on farming to buy their goods and services. Governments depend on the sales taxes from these transactions as well as the income and property taxes of farmers for a significant part of their revenue as well.

From: Leticia Perez, Bakersfield Californian

No region in California has been impacted more by our state's broken water system than the Central Valley. The lack of water has left thousands of acres of farmland fallow and people unemployed, causing economic hardship and putting futures at risk.

Fortunately, Gov. Jerry Brown's Bay Delta Conservation Plan and the 2014 Water Bond provide immediate and viable solutions to keep the breadbasket to the world going and growing.

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