Thursday, October 3, 2013

News articles and links from October 3, 2013

Bay Delta Conservation Plan 

From: James Loewen, LA Times

The poll and the article on Californians' attitudes toward financing huge water projects ignore a very big piece of the picture.

We don't need these water projects, which will further strain fish habitats in Northern California rivers and saddle us with more debt. Instead, we need to fairly price the over-strained supplies already being shipped south. This will result in lowered flows that still leave adequate supplies for cities and for farmers who can pay a fair price.

Coalition response...Farmers use only 41 percent of the available water supply in California, according to the California Department of Water Resources. The rest goes to the environment (48 percent) and cities/businesses (11 percent). Water users throughout California, including farmers, homeowners and businesses, pay their share of costs to receive the water. Urban users pay for water quality treatment, pressurization in distribution systems and a reliability that assures water will be there when faucets are turned. Farmers do not pay these costs because they do not receive the same benefits. Attempts to characterize water rates that farmers pay as "very low" ignores how rates are set.

Those who benefit from the use of water on farms are consumers who have come to rely upon a safe and healthy food supply in grocery stores.

That supply of water to California farms has been reduced in recent years because of regulations to protect endangered fish, namely the Delta smelt. Instead of sending water to users who have a right to it, the water is kept in the Delta and allowed to flow to the ocean. Federal water officials have yet to provide demonstrable proof that their actions are achieving their intended results.

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan and its proposed tunnels will greatly reduce the impacts on endangered fish. The Plan will restore a reliable supply of water that is delivered to 3 million acres of farmland and 25 million Californians. At the same time, ecosystem restoration will take place in the Delta that will benefit habitat and wildlife. Without implementation of BDCP, water supplies will continue to be reduced and endangered fish will suffer.

Water Supply

From: Vince Ross, Almond Board of California 

It is a simple but vitally important fact: Water availability is of critical importance to California almond growers and handlers. Water remains the lifeblood of California's almond industry, which in 2012 produced 2 billion pounds of almonds valued at $4.3 billion. That said, California water policy is incredibly complex, driven by intense competition among very diverse interests.


From: Garth Stapley, Modesto Bee 

What used to be an encouraging sign of more business for water agencies - people signing up to buy electricity - is starting to scare the Modesto Irrigation District.

That's because the MID also worries about water supply. And those recently asking for scads more power, district leaders fear, are using it to pump - and maybe deplete - groundwater.

From: Author, Source  

The Mid-Valley Pipeline will be one of the most significant groundwater conservation projects in Coachella Valley history.

Water Quality 

From: Seth Nidever, Hanford Sentinel

Kings County farmers had a chance this week to hear firsthand how best to adjust to sweeping new groundwater pollution rules.

The new regulations, adopted last month by the Central Valley Water Quality Control Board, require most commercial growing operations in Kings County to keep track of how much nitrogen fertilizer they apply, submit groundwater quality assessment reports and show evidence of erosion and sediment control plans.

California Water Plan 

From: Report, DWR

California's key water planning document - updated for public review - is being released in separate volumes today through October 23. California Water Plan Update 2013 - a four-year effort by DWR - presents a comprehensive picture of California's water supply, needs, evolving integrated water management and projections of future demands.


From: Press Release, Delta Protection Commission

In a region surrounded by waterways, preparing for devastating floods in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is critical. Delta waterways contribute to the bucolic setting of the region but increase the risk to Delta residents in a flood situation.


From: Staff, Red Bluff Daily News

There will be a set of new water quality regulations imposed on Sacramento Valley irrigated agriculture and managed wetland owners as soon as April 2014. This is due to adoption of a waste discharge requirements General Order for the Long- Term Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program.

An upcoming public workshop, held by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board), will summarize the proposed new regulations and give opportunity to comment on issues of concerns to Regional Board Members.

Interested persons are being encouraged to attend and present oral comments on Oct. 30 in Colusa.

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