Thursday, November 14, 2013

News articles and links from November 14, 2013


From: Todd Fichette, Western Farm Press

Conservation. It's been a big buzzword over the years, and for good reasons. Conserving energy in locations where utility companies charge out the wazoo for power makes good economic sense.

Conserving natural resources is certainly good for wildlife and the host of agricultural uses that compete for land space. Conserving water: well, that's just for farmers!

A University of California, Davis professor said as much recently as growers gathered on California's Central Coast to learn about new technologies available and in the pipeline the help growers conserve water. While the professor was being somewhat sarcastic, what he said still rings true: urban residents have not been asked to conserve water as agriculture has been forced to conserve. Even more succinctly, urban water users continue to waste more water than agriculture ever will.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Paul Granillo, San Bernardino Sun

More than half of the water that sustains the Inland Empire economy comes from somewhere else, traveling great distances through tunnels and pipelines from the Colorado River and Northern California's Sierra Nevada. Every drop of water in the region's largest reservoir, Diamond Valley Lake in Riverside County, comes from the Sierra.

Water is too often taken for granted. But reliability does not just happen. It comes through making the right investments at the right times. Today, the system of delivery is in jeopardy.


From: Alex Breitler, esanjoaquin 

We learned last month that a long-planned reservoir in east San Joaquin County may no longer be worth building, in part because groundwater levels have stabilized, which raises questions about the need for that half-a-billion-dollar project. (Actually, the way the experts are describing it is that groundwater has reached "equilibrium," which is basically the same thing as saying it's "stable.")

From: Jono Kinkade, New Times

Agriculturalists representing farmers who work above the stressed Paso Robles Groundwater Basin have continued towing the boat they say will take overliers to safety amid concerns over falling well levels.

The Paso Robles Agricultural Alliance for Groundwater Solutions (PRAAGS) presented its goal to form a California Water District to a crowd of roughly 300 people, who filled a large ballroom at the Paso Robles Inn on Nov. 13. Board members of the group-all involved in some aspect of the viticulture industry-presented the details and the process for the district's formation.

From: J.N. Sbranti, Modesto Bee

There's seems to be a run on water-well permits in Stanislaus County.

About 60 well permits were requested during the first four weeks of October. That's 3½ times normal.

"They're predominately for agriculture and on the east side of the county," said Jami Aggers, Stanislaus' director of environmental resources. Her office typically gets about 17 well permit requests per month, she said, acknowledging the sudden increase.

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