Monday, July 8, 2013

News articles and links from July 8, 2013

Water Bond

From: Editorial Staff, Riverside Press-Enterprise

Another two years of stalling will not ensure a reliable long-term supply of water for California. The state cannot afford to let ideological battles stifle progress once again on addressing the state's water issues. Legislators should revamp a proposed water bond to pare the cost, scrape out the political pork and concentrate any new spending on the state's most pressing water needs.

From: Dan Walters, Sacramento Bee
From: Dan Walters, Fresno Bee
From: Dan Walters, Modesto Bee 

When Jerry Brown pushed a major water plan through the Legislature during his first governorship, he violated one of the cardinal - albeit unspoken - rules of Capitol politics.

That maxim is that any major policy change must have virtually unanimous support from all stakeholders or those left out will use California's many political and legal tools to block its implementation.

Water Supply

From: Steve Knell & Jeff Shields, Manteca Bulletin

A few weeks ago, Senator Feinstein made news by calling for significant measures to address California's dire water supply situation, including the construction of more storage and perhaps even modifications to the Endangered Species Act. These measures, even if approved, will take years to come to fruition. Indeed, Senator Feinstein lamented that despite authorization for feasibility studies regarding new storage provided over a decade ago, some of the feasibility studies themselves won't be done until 2016. In the meantime, New Melones Reservoir sits more than half empty at a time when SSJID and OID have water that can be stored for future use by agriculture and to meet environmental needs.

From: Len Ramirez, KPIX-5 TV

NorCal farmers have been dealt a double-whammy. Len Ramirez tells s state cuts and dry weather are turning fields into dust.

From: Juliet McKenna, Agua-Zona

A basic tenet of Arizona water management system is that we must concern ourselves with California's water management system. No, it is not not just because California is our likeable neighbor to the west. Because both states rely on the Colorado River to meet big chunks of municipal and agricultural water demand, Arizona's concern is simply based on self-interest. Stresses in California's in-state water supplies could lead to increased stresses on the Colorado River  - bad news for the entire basin.

From: Norm Groot, Salinas Californian

Farmers strive for highly efficient use of water when growing their crops, realizing this is a precious resource not to be wasted. More research and newer technology continues to refine how water is used to grow crops - using less water and only when the plant requires moisture.

More than 60 percent of our irrigated crop lands in Monterey County now utilize drip-tape irrigation as a means to deliver water only to the root zone of the plant when needed. Water use for crop production is actually lower in recent years while yields continue to grow each year. Yes, it takes a lot of water to grow the crops that we all find so plentiful in our supermarkets, but new techniques are helping to conserve water use in ways our grandfathers never dreamed of.

From: Bill Lindelof, Sacramento Bee

Rainfall measurements in the Sacramento Valley and foothills ranged from 65 to 90 percent of normal for the boom-or-bust water year that ended June 30, according to the National Weather Service.

Most of the rain occurred in two months: November and December. Then, the weather spigot turned off.


From: Kent Davy, San Diego Union-Tribune

Last week, we loaded up the cooler with produce from the garden and zipped through the Central Valley heat and by some dead, waterless orchards to Berkeley, where my brother and his family live (and eat well).

The produce (green beans, snow peas, zucchini, jalapenos, plums and peaches destined for my favorite cook and Queen of the Kitchen sister-in-law who now knows the secrets to making her own bagels) is, frankly, the gift of water bought and brought from a long ways away to keep my garden green.


From: Editorial Staff, Modesto Bee

The letter wasn't worded quite this informally, but basically it said:

Dear Neighbors, We didn't realize you might be in trouble. We have enough water for our own needs this year and actually some to spare. If you need some water this year, we'd be happy to talk to you about it. And ditto for next year if the rainfall is again low.


From: Staff, Vacaville Reporter

The Northern Solano Democratic Club will talk about the Bay Delta Conservation Plan at its next meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the Benicia Grill II, 2390 Texas St., Fairfield.

Melinda Terry, manager of the North Delta Water Agency, will speak on Northern California water issues and the two-tunnel system being proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown to deliver water to Southern California.

From: Bay Delta Conservation Plan

A BDCP Public Meeting is scheduled for July 17 in Sacramento. The meeting will provide an update on BDCP Administrative Draft Chapters 8-12. View the draft meeting agenda here.

Project staff will be available to review Administrative Draft BDCP materials and discuss comments and questions beginning at 12 p.m. and continuing until 6 p.m. The presentation portion of the meeting will run from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.

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