Friday, July 12, 2013

News articles and links from July 12, 2013

Water Supply

From: Theo Douglas, Bakersfield Californian

Due to historically low levels of melting snow, the Kern River watershed is experiencing its third driest year in more than a century. Snowmelt runoff levels in the Kern for 2013 are at 21 percent of a 100 percent runoff, a measurement that ties with the Depression-era year of 1931, according to Bakersfield Water Resources Manager Art Chianello.  

The city began keeping records of water levels 120 years ago, in 1893. Two years are considered to be the watershed's second driest: 1924 and 1977. During each of those years, the Kern yielded 20 percent of a 100 percent snowmelt runoff.


From: Stacy Finz, SF Chronicle

Up until a few years ago, Chris Drew measured the moisture levels of Sea Mist Farms in Salinas by hiking up and down thousands of artichoke rows, sticking a metal rod into the soil as he went and feeling the dirt he pulled up with his fingers. Now he can do it with a high-tech sensor and an iPhone while eating his Wheaties. "Farming will never be able to be done from behind a desk," said Drew, the farm's production manager. "But technology provides us with more useful information than we had before."


From: Editorial, Chico Enterprise-Record    

Our view: The government has been studying the feasibility of raising Shasta Dam for decades. The studies are a waste of time and money. The federal government is seeking comments on whether it should raise Shasta Dam. Here's our comment, short and sweet: Quit wasting taxpayer money. Well-paid bureaucrats and their similarly well-paid consultants have spent 10 years studying it, even though they know it's not a legitimate possibility. And if they go farther down this road with more studies, well-paid lawyers will get in the gravy train line because the lawsuits are sure to fly.

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