Monday, October 28, 2013

News articles and links from October 28, 2013

Sacramento River

From: Rep. John Garamendi, Woodland Daily Democrat

California's aging water infrastructure is insufficient for our present and future needs. Unfortunately, the current Bay Delta Conservation Plan and its two massive tunnels is a destructive $25 billion boondoggle that won't solve the problem. California can solve its water needs and end the water wars that pit north vs. south and water exporters vs. environmentalists - but not with the BDCP.

Coalition response...While Rep. Garamendi includes several good proposals in his water plan, his suggestion for moving water through the Delta does not provide a reliable water supply for farmers and others who are currently suffering under 20 years of water supply cuts due to Endangered Species Act regulations. The State Legislature called for a plan in 2009 that would restore the Delta ecosystem and provide California with a reliable water supply. Bay Delta Conservation Plan researchers have looked at numerous tunnel proposals and have concluded the current twin tunnel plan provides the best opportunity to meet the Legislature's mandate.


From: Mark Grossi, Fresno Bee

Pine Flat Reservoir is a ghost of a lake in the Fresno County foothills - a puddle in a 326 billion-gallon gorge.

Holding only 16% of its capacity, Pine Flat is the best example of why there is high anxiety over the approaching wet season.

From: Associated Press, Modesto Bee

State water officials are warning that low water levels in reservoirs across the state should be a warning that conservation measures might be necessary to get through next year.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: David Sunding, Sacramento Bee

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is a voluntary search for common ground in one of the nation's highest-stakes natural resource disputes.

As a balancing act, the plan was not designed by economists. Yet it appears on track to becoming a sound investment for dozens of public water agencies and the California public at large.

From: Tim Rutten, LA Daily News 
From: Tim Rutten, Pasadena Star-News  
From: Tim Rutten, Torrance Daily Breeze 
From: Tim Rutten, Whittier Daily News 
From: Tim Rutten, San Gabriel Valley Tribune 
From: Tim Rutten, San Bernardino Sun 
From: Tim Rutten, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin 
From: Tim Rutten, Redlands Daily Facts
From: Tim Rutten, Long Beach Press Telegram

It also might move you to take a much more serious look at the expansion and overhaul of the California water system that is among Gov. Jerry Brown's most ambitious - and controversial - proposals.

Last week, the National Weather Service's Oxnard facility issued its formal prediction on the coming winter's precipitation, and the forecast is for "below normal rainfall" in Southern California and along the Central Coast. If the prediction is accurate, we're looking at the third consecutive rainy season in which the moisture level fails to meet recent historical expectations.

From: Jerry Meral, Fox & Hounds

Fortunately, in this day of bitter partisan divides, there are some issues which can unite people across the political spectrum.  Water reliability and ecological restoration can be two such issues.

California's vibrant economy and strong employment growth are both reliant on a dependable water supply.  An interruption or reduction in the supply of water to most of the state from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta would cost the economy as much as $10 billion a year, and up to 40,000 jobs.


From: Heather Hacking, Chico Enterprise-Record

Landowners will soon be tasked with new rules for groundwater monitoring being finalized by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.

The program will include new reports and monitoring managed by water quality coalitions.

From: Editorial Staff, Modesto Bee

The city of Modesto and the Modesto Irrigation District, we all know, have had some serious conflicts in the last two years over water.

But step back from this momentary conflict and it's obvious that the arrangement of using Tuolumne River water to supplement well water has provided Modestans a reliable source of water for household and business use.

From: Ken Carlson, Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County leaders could approve an ordinance Tuesday to put restrictions on groundwater mining and out-of-county transfers that threaten to deplete local aquifers.


From: John Lindsey, SLO Tribune

So far, 2013 is now the driest year on record at Cal Poly since 1870 when weather observations started.

The second driest January-to-October on record at Cal Poly occurred in 1972, when 5.5 inches of rain fell. The next driest was 1984, when 4.3 inches of precipitation were recorded. So far this year, only a meager 3.5 inches of rain has fallen.

From: Julie Lynem, SLO Tribune

Faced with a second year of severe drought, many San Luis Obispo County cattle ranchers have been forced to thin their herds and bring in costly feed to keep animals healthy.

"We're waiting for the rain, and it's going to be real ugly if we don't get any this winter," said Richard Gonzales, who operates a cow-calf operation in Paso Robles.

Salton Sea 

From: Editorial Staff, Imperial Valley Press

The memorandum of understanding signed Thursday among the Imperial Irrigation District, Imperial County and its air pollution control district is momentous in many respects. First of all, it helps mend about 10 years of contentious debate over the validity of the Quantification Settlement Agreement and the conditions put in place. While opposing sides no doubt felt they were within their rights to contest - and still continue to contest - each other, the MOU should act as a gentlemen's agreement and help facilitate the type of compromise that a year ago might have been unthinkable.


From: Alex Breitler, Modesto Bee 

Another near-record salmon run is expected on the Stanislaus River this fall.

So if you've never seen a mighty Chinook, this might be the year to get out there and find one.

The first opportunity was Saturday at the Stanislaus River Salmon Festival at Knights Ferry, off Highway 120 east of Oakdale.


From: Bob Curtis and Gabriele Ludwig, Western Farm Press

Workshops covering two topics of critical importance to California Almond growers - water use and nitrogen management - will be on tap at The Almond Conference, to be held Dec. 3-5 in Sacramento.

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