Thursday, September 26, 2013

News articles and links from September 26, 2013

Water Supply

From: Heather Hacking, Chico Enterprise-Record

A recent survey by the Public Policy Institute of Californian asked how people felt about the future of water supply, how they'd vote on a scaled-back water bond and if they are opposed to fracking.

Other questions included legalization of marijuana, granting immigration, gay and lesbian marriage, prison realignment, health care reform, military strike on Syria and abortion.

From: Press Release, Public Policy Institute of California

Half of Californians support the plan approved by the governor and legislature to reduce prison overcrowding, according to a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. At the same time, overwhelming majorities are concerned about the possible early release of thousands of prisoners that the plan is designed to prevent.

There is less agreement among Californians on water policy. About half (53%) say the water supply for their part of the state will be somewhat or very inadequate in 10 years. And residents are divided about how to plan for the future. About half (49%) say we should focus on conservation, user allocation, and other strategies to manage water more efficiently, while 45 percent say we need to build new water storage systems.

From: Maven, Maven's Notebook

New PPIC survey shows Californians divided on water policy:  While Californians continue to support fracking regulations and strongly support oil companies obtaining permits and disclosing chemicals used in the process, they are much more divided on water policy, a new PPIC poll shows:   "... About half (53%) say the water supply for their part of the state will be somewhat or very inadequate in 10 years. And residents are divided about how to plan for the future. About half (49%) say we should focus on conservation, user allocation, and other strategies to manage water more efficiently, while 45 percent say we need to build new water storage systems.

From: John Myers, News-10 TV

Voters are firm in their opinions.  Except when they're not.

Consider that one of the big takeaways in a new statewide poll that suggests California voters may now be ready to do what they rejected just three years ago: legalize marijuana.

Water Woes: The new poll not only finds a familiar split when it comes to whether Californians want more water (45 percent) or just wiser usage of water (49 percent), but a pretty weak starting point for a big water bond measure on the statewide ballot.  Even when considering a $6.5 billion proposal (PDF) now being mulled at the Capitol -- smaller than the original water bond plan -- only 50 percent of likely voters queried by PPIC say they'd vote for it.

From: Richard Cray, Marysville Appeal-Democrat

Regular readers of the Appeal-Democrat will have noted the appearance of several recent articles dealing with water issues of one kind or another. Whether it's the water worries of the residents of Gold Village, the water bills of Marysville ratepayers, receding water tables in the Central Valley, or the fight over who controls the water of the Colorado River, two things about water are clear: everyone needs it, but not everyone can get what they need at the price they can afford.

From: Jim Finstad, Marysville Appeal-Democrat

Concerning the Sept. 18 article, "Farmers want to keep on truckin'":

Funds were available to farmers and ranchers interested in reducing air quality emissions from off-road mobile or stationary agriculture sources. The USDA-National Resources Conservation Service began taking applications in June 2009 to provide cost-sharing funds to replace, repower, or retrofit existing engines under a new clean air quality provision of the 2008 federal farm bill.


From: Pat Cavanaugh, California Ag Today

Bob Ehn, CEO and Technical Manager for the Clovis-based California Garlic and Onion Research Advisor Board, noted that the 2013-2014 season is shaping up to be a major production challenge.

"As expected, growers on the West Side are not committing to planting garlic or onions this winter, and processors and handlers are scrambling trying to find growers who can contract with them on land not effected by a possible zero Federal water allocation," said Ehn.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Steven Greenhut, San Diego Union-Tribune 

The system that moves water from relatively wet Northern California to arid Southern California is like a superhighway that's hundreds of miles long, but is slowed by about 40 miles of dirt roads in the middle of it.

That's how Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, described the state's main water problem during a media tour Monday of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta hosted by MWD and state water officials.

From: Janet E. Levers, Sacramento Bee

Re "Why south state backs Delta plan" (Page A1, Sept. 22): I appreciate the depth and breadth of Bee reporter Matt Weiser's article on the proposed Delta tunnels.

I do wish, however, that Weiser had taken a more critical, questioning view of the propaganda that the Department of Water Resources and and its Bay Delta Conservation Plan cronies have cooked up to justify this massive boondoggle.

Water Bond 

From: Staff, Vacaville Reporter 

A joint hearing of the Senate Environmental Quality and Natural Resources and Water Committees heard presentations and comments Tuesday on two water bond proposals, including Senator Lois Wolk's Senate Bill 42, The Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality & Flood Protection Act of 2014.


From: Maven, Maven's Notebook

On September 24, 2013, Metropolitan Water District's Special Committee on the Bay-Delta was updated on the status of the Collaborative Science and Adaptive Management Program (CSAMP) as well as the progress on several near-term Delta habitat restoration and emergency response preparedness projects.


From: Dennis Wyatt, Manteca Bulletin

California's ultimate water war will start in your bathroom.

It will be over who has rights to what you flush down your toilet, send down your sink drains and dump into the sewer system from your washing machine.

The wastewater under California Water Code Section 1210 is owned by the jurisdiction operating the system that collects and treats it. The owners of treatment plants, though, may not have exclusive rights to the treated effluent or the water released back into a stream or river. Water Code Section 1485 specially allows jurisdictions operating wastewater treatment plants that dump treated effluent into the San Joaquin River or the Delta to take an equal amount of water for sale or other beneficial purposes.


From: Antoine Abou-Diwan, Imperial Valley Press

The Imperial Irrigation District hosted a public workshop Wednesday to discuss the preservation of the IID's water rights and the challenges posed by the massive water transfer at the heart of the Quantification Settlement Agreement.

Yet, more than a year after the IID adopted an alternative approach to the QSA and less than two months after the validity of the transfer was upheld in court, the message from the district's attorneys is essentially the same: The IID and the farm community must make a reasonable effort to conserve Colorado River water.


From: Jono Kinkade, SLO New Times

County supes consider extending Paso basin urgency ordinance After making a tough 4-0 vote to approve a temporary urgency ordinance intended to slow water overdrafting from the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin, the SLO County Board of Supervisors is about to do it again and decide whether to continue the ordinance for two years or to leave it dead in the water.

Water Quality 

From: Staff, Porterville Recorder

State water regulators have adopted an order for farmers to monitor and clean up groundwater in California's Central Valley, home to some of America's most contaminated aquifers.   

The order, adopted by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board on Thursday, affects about 10,700 growers in the Tulare Lake basin - including parts of Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Kern counties - who farm on about 3 million acres of irrigated farmland.

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