Monday, September 16, 2013

News articles and links from September 16, 2013


From: Editorial Staff, Desert Sun

The Coachella Valley economy has been built on cheap water.

Our desert averages 2 to 5 inches of rain a year. However, thanks to imported water and a vast underground basin where it can be stored, we support 124 golf courses, a $500 million-a-year agriculture industry, luxury hotels with lush gardens and water features, and nine growing cities.

A Desert Sun special report last week confirmed that we've been taking much more water out of the aquifer than we put in. This is a serious problem and most of us contribute to it.

Coalition response...This editorial is correct in recognizing the efforts of the Coachella Valley Water District and the Desert Water Agency to preserve the water that underlies the Coachella Valley. It is also correct in more can be done by everyone who lives in the valley. The water districts have reached agreements that bring water from the Colorado River and through the State Water Project for local use and to recharge the aquifer. Reducing the demand on groundwater by all water users is an ongoing goal that will require continuing efforts.

The Coachella Valley is a recipient of the water that flows through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and is delivered  via the State Water Project to 25 million Californians and three million acres of farmland. This water supply has been interrupted in recent years as government regulations written to protect Delta fish species have kept a portion of that water from being delivered. Sadly, no definitive results exist that prove these actions are benefiting fish. Earlier this year more than 700,000 acre-feet of water was lost to users.

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is being developed to provide a reliable supply of water moving through the Delta to users, including the Coachella Valley via an exchange agreement. The Plan will also improve the Delta's ecosystem by restoring wetlands and habitat. The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is the best opportunity to secure California's water future and its implementation is critical to our state.

Water Bond 

From: Editorial Staff, Hanford Sentinel

The state Legislature wrapped up business for the year Friday, taking no action to set the parameters for a water bond California voters will consider next November and punting the issue into next year.

Water Supply

From: Mary Elizabeth Dallas, Visalia Times-Delta

Recycled sewage water can safely be used for crop irrigation, according to new research. In what's thought to be the first study conducted under realistic field conditions, researchers found that crops irrigated with the water discharged from sewage treatment plants contains only low levels of prescription drugs and ingredients commonly found in antibacterial soaps, make-up, shampoos and other personal care products.

From: Matt Weiser, Sacramento Bee  

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $4.3 million contract to install new fish protection devices at its water diversion pumps in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.


From: Staff, Chico Enterprise-Record

Starting Wednesday in Oroville Branch of the Butte County Library and Sept. 21 in the Gateway Science Museum in Chico, a person can learn about watersheds, groundwater, local crops and much more with the touch of a finger.

Wednesday, the Butte County Department of Water and Resource Conservation will unveil a 55-inch computer with touch-screen technology at the Oroville Library, 1820 Mitchell Ave.

Salton Sea

From: Antoine Abou-Diwan, Imperial Valley Press

Plaintiffs and defendants in the recently decided coordinated Quantification Settlement Agreement lawsuits have filed motions to recoup attorneys' fees, with one party seeking nearly $53 million.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Matt Weiser, Sacramento Bee

The Sacramento City Council this week stepped up its critique of a plan to build two giant water diversion tunnels in the Delta, warning that it may harm the city's ability to access drinking water in the decades ahead.

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