Monday, October 21, 2013

News articles and links from October 21, 2013


From: Press Release, California Farm Water Coalition

Businesses and cities lose money when neighboring farmers do not receive water to grow their crops. That is the message of "Farm Water and the Business Crisis," a video that portrays the reliance that communities have on a healthy farm economy that is now available at

The short video includes business owners and community leaders from Firebaugh in western Fresno County explaining what happens when farmers are forced to cut back on their planted acreage when water deliveries are reduced.


From: Alessandra Bergamin, Bay Nature

Seated in a wooden kayak at the mouth of Sycamore Slough, Danny Slakey peers through his hand lens at a plant no bigger than a sprig of thyme. Carefully, he inspects the small purple flowers growing along its stem, turning the specimen in his hand.

In the Delta, the state is proposing a huge construction project centered around twin tunnels dug under the Delta to deliver water from the northern part of the watershed to farmers in the San Joaquin Valley and urban consumers in Santa Clara County and Southern California. The proposed "peripheral tunnel" project is paired with the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, which aims to improve habitat for native species as mitigation for the tunnels. Having baseline data for what is here now is an essential prerequisite for understanding what species need to be taken into account and Slakey, so far, is optimistic.

"It seems there should be minimal impacts to the rare plants in the Delta," Slakey says.  "Overall, it sounds like the Bay Delta Conservation Plan may help to make for improved habitat restoration."

From: Matt Weiser, Sacramento Bee

Water diversion gates near Walnut Grove in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will close Monday morning, sealing off a shortcut important to boaters.

The closure of the Delta Cross Channel Gates is expected to occur at 9 a.m. Monday, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the gates.

From: Bob Moffitt, Capital Public Radio

Pete Lucero with the Bureau of Reclamation says it closed the Delta Cross Channel gates near Walnut Grove on Thursday and Friday and will likely close them again today.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Pat Brennan, Orange County Register

The California Delta is an intricate, 1,100-square-mile tapestry of farmland, canals, lakes, trees, reeds and marshes, but to Southern California it might resemble something like a gargantuan water glass.

And an enormous, serpentine straw - the California Aqueduct - sucks some of the Delta's water south, providing drinking water to 19 million Southern Californians.

State and regional water agencies, however, say the Delta is in crisis, its natural habitat rapidly deteriorating.


From: Mark Grossi, Fresno Beehive

In the midst of this balmy, October weather, I sneaked a look at the weather a year ago. I saw an archived item about a local storm report - talking about snow in the Sierra Nevada. There were reports of heavy snow in the mountains of Fresno, Tulare and Madera counties.


From: Julie Lynem, SLO Tribune  

After weeks of productive and often passionate debate, stakeholders tasked with finding the best way to manage the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin have not reached consensus on what type of water district to form or who will oversee it.

From: Julie Lynem and Tonya Strickland, SLO Tribune

As San Luis Obispo County supervisors and others review ways to manage the threatened Paso Robles groundwater basin, experts recommend crafting a special act district created by the Legislature and customized to fit the needs of a specific area.


From: Alex Cantatore, Turlock City News

After nearly four years of work, the Turlock Irrigation District expects to submit its draft application to relicense Don Pedro Reservoir next month.

Since its creation in 1924, the Don Pedro Reservoir has served as the main source of irrigation water for TID growers. The district operates the dam through a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is set to expire; the dam has not been relicensed since 1966, just before construction on the New Don Pedro Dam started.

One notable study looked at the effects of predation from non-native fish species on native salmon. That study found predation to be a "significant issue" in salmon production, far more so than water flows.

Quantification Settlement Agreement 

From: Mike Gardner, SD Union-Tribune

The giant Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has no plans to ration deliveries even as the state braces for a possible third-straight dry year and the vast Colorado River system remains plagued by plummeting flows into a shrinking Lake Mead.

One reason for this welcome reprieve can be traced back 10 years ago this month when warring water interests across the West signed a historic seven-state agreement to share the Colorado River. That pact also cleared the way for the Imperial Valley to sell supplies to the San Diego County Water Authority.


From: Norm Groot, Salinas Californian

In my last column, I described the need for rain this coming winter for the Salinas Valley community. Having Mother Nature refill our reservoirs is top of the list this rainy season - otherwise, we may find ourselves next summer without year-round releases of water into the Salinas River, affecting groundwater recharge, habitat and fish, and our local economy.

No comments:

Post a Comment