Wednesday, August 28, 2013

News articles and links from August 28, 2013


From: Erin Brodwin, Scientific American

Midwestern Farmers have relied on the High Plains Aquifer System since they first discovered the solution to their drought woes nearly six decades ago. The massive underground water source has turned a vast dry swath of the Great Plains from North Dakota to Texas into arable farmland.

Coalition response... It is important to note that San Joaquin Valley farmers, contrary to statements made in this article, do not use water from the Colorado River basin to irrigate their crops. The article is correct, however, in describing the enormous increase in water use efficiency achieved by San Joaquin Valley farmers. Since 2003 more than $2.1 billion has been invested in upgrading irrigation systems on more than 1.8 million acres. One of the results of that kind of investment is that crop production has increased more than 89 percent on about the same amount of applied water per acre in years past.

Water Supply

From: Kate Campbell, Ag Alert

Farmers say this year's agricultural water supply has been squeezed dry-wells are going empty, major reservoirs are at a fraction of historic storage levels for this time of year and the U.S. Drought Monitor shows California is in a severe to extreme drought.

No California growing region has been spared the drought's effects.

From: Garth Stapley,

Even valley water leaders are talking about the Rim fire.

The fire itself doesn't threaten mountain water going to thousands of farmers and hundreds of thousands of Modesto water customers, all of whom rely on Tuolumne River flows.

From: John Franco, Merced Sun-Star  

I attended the film screening of "The Fight for Water: A Farmworker Struggle" at UC Merced on Aug. 21 and believe the panel discussion should have included a wider range of perspectives, and any discussion of our water future should always start with the natural watershed geography.

From: Steve Frisch,

As the record-breaking Rim Fire continues to consume power lines and structures in its path, the bigger story is its effect on water and power for San Francisco, the East Bay and hundreds of square miles of California farmland. The largest fire in Sierra Nevada history is a sobering reminder that our water resources are at risk, not only from wildfires but also from climate change and a legacy of poorly planned land management.

Salton Sea

From: Victoria Pelham, The Desert Sun  

A $5 billion water bond introduced by state lawmakers earlier this month will include funds for the Salton Sea, according to Assemblyman V. Manuel PĂ©rez's office.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Alex Breitler,

Dueling eocnomists[sic]: The State Water Contractors published a fact sheet comparing recent twin tunnels analyses by David Sunding, a consultant for the state, and Jeff Michael, the skeptic often quoted by Stockton-based tunnels foe Restore the Delta.

From: John F. Shirey, Sacramento Bee 

Re "Capital steps up Delta battle" (The Public Eye, Aug. 25): In the article, the city of Sacramento is characterized as opposed to the governor's Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). To be clear, Sacramento has not taken a formal position on BDCP.

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