Wednesday, November 20, 2013

News articles and links from November 20, 2013

Water Supply

From: Press Release, DWR

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced an initial allocation of five percent of requested deliveries to State Water Project (SWP) contractors in calendar year 2014.

From: Press Release, California Farm Water Coalition  

"Today's announcement by the Department of Water Resources should be a wake-up call to all Californians that our water supply system is broken. More than 750,000 acres of farmland in the State Water Project service area will once again face severe water shortages.

From: Press Release, Kern County Water Agency  

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced today that the State Water Project (SWP) initial water allocation will be just 5 percent of contracted amounts. The SWP provides water to more than 25 million residents and more than 750,000 acres of agricultural land throughout California.

"The extremely low initial allocation is alarming and woefully inadequate for Kern County residents, farms and businesses, and it provides no hope for replenishment of groundwater banking reserves that have been tapped to provide agricultural and urban water during previous dry years," said Kern County Water Agency (Agency) Board of Directors President Ted Page. "The Agency will adopt a formal declaration of emergency at today's Board meeting and is considering options for improving water supplies for 2014."

From: Press Release, State Water Contractors 

On the heels of a very dry year, the California Department of Water Resources announced today that California's water agencies, those that get water from the State Water Project (SWP), should initially expect only five percent of SWP water supplies. Only one other time in the history of the SWP has the initial allocation been such a small percentage.

This announcement comes as California faces two major water supply challenges-persistent dry conditions and an antiquated water infrastructure system.

From: Matt Williams, ACWA

Precipitation finally is on the way this week for much of California, but it will take more than a brief drenching to ease a prolonged dry spell that's shattering state records.

Approximately 84% of California's land area is experiencing "severe drought" conditions, unchanged from statistics gathered at the start of the new water year on Oct. 1, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.  The National Climatic Data Center reports that the first 10 months of 2013 have been the driest such period in California since recordkeeping began in 1895.

From: Mark Grossi, Modesto Bee

When John Laird, secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, comes to Fresno these days, people want to talk with him about water - specifically, the lack of it.

He met last week with the Latino Water Coalition to chat about the far-reaching Bay Delta Conservation Plan, the final draft of which is supposed to hit the streets Dec. 13.


From: J.N. Sbranti, Modesto Bee

Warning that "disaster is imminent," the Oakdale Irrigation District's board president on Tuesday called for an immediate moratorium on new water wells in Stanislaus County.

"You cannot on a consistent basis take more water out of the ground basin than you put in," Frank Clark told a standing-room-only crowd, which came out for an OID presentation about the region's groundwater situation. "We need a moratorium on new wells until more and better data is available."

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Lois Henry, Bakersfield Californian

A discussion item at the Kern County Water Agency's October meeting regarding the state's "twin tunnel" proposal to fix the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta set off alarm bells with at least one northern California newspaper.

Hey, water's a touchy subject.

From: Bruce Ross, Redding Record Searchlight

I wasn't able to make it in person, but thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I could catch the talk Jerry Meral, the deputy director of the California Department of Natural Resources shepherding the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, gave to the Redding City Council last night.

California Water Action Plan

From: Eric Vodden, Marysville Appeal-Democrat

Water issues facing the North State will be the focus of a Town Hall in Yuba City tonight that will feature the state's top natural resources official.

State Natural Resources Secretary John Laird will be on hand for the event hosted by area Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Loma Rica. The session will be at The Plaza Room in the Hillcrest shopping center at 210 Julie Drive.

The chief topic for the session, during which those attending will be given the chance to ask questions, will be a new state water action plan.

Salton Sea

From: K. Kaufmann, Desert Sun

The University of California, Riverside on Tuesday unveiled a new test plant for turning organic materials - from agricultural waste to sewage or algae - into synthetic natural gas, a project that could help California cut its greenhouse gas emissions and possibly help fund restoration efforts at the Salton Sea.


From: Ross Farrow, Lodi News-Sentinel

Despite the lack of rainfall in Northern California this year, the Mokelumne River's salmon run is about as plentiful as it was in 2012 - 2,500 salmon have found their way through the fish hatchery at Lake Camanche.


From: Antoine Abou-Diwan, Imperial Valley Press

The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors began its public meeting Tuesday by honoring Roy Alsip for his 52 years of service to the IID and the community.

"Roy began a long career as a zanjero in the IID water department in September of 1960 and retired in 1996 - or so he thought," said Energy Manager Carl Stills.

From: Staff, Glenn County Transcript

Congressman John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, whose district includes approximately 200 miles of the Sacramento River, was named to the Water Resources and Development Act Conference Committee on Friday.


From: Staff, Lake County News

U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA-05), chair of the bipartisan Invasive Species Caucus, hosted a caucus hearing in Washington, DC about the threat invasive species pose to local budgets, agriculture, infrastructure and the environment across California's Fifth Congressional District and other communities across the country.

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