Thursday, November 21, 2013

News articles and links from November 21, 2013

Water Supply

From: Howard Hardee, Chico News & Review 

Don't let the recent rains fool you-it's been a dry year in Butte County. Or, perhaps more accurately, it's been a dry decade.

Coalition response...San Joaquin Valley farmers have been aggressive during the past century in managing groundwater supplies. They stepped forward and supported the construction of the Central Valley Project (CVP) that delivered surface water to the region to reduce reliance on groundwater. This support required them to commit billions of dollars toward repaying the costs of constructing the dams, canals, maintenance and operation costs of the CVP.

Another example of improved water supply management is the $2.1 billion farmers have spent upgrading irrigation systems on 1.8 million acres of San Joaquin Valley farmland, including the installation of drip and micro-irrigation technology.  

Barbara Vlamis is concerned that the proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan and its tunnels will "devastate" other regions' water supplies but there is nothing to support what she is saying. The BDCP is designed to provide reliable deliveries of water that people already have a right to use. And the amount that would be exported is on average the same that has been moved over the past 20 years.

From: Alex Breitler, Stockton Record

On what happened to be the wettest day of the year, state water officials announced Wednesday that some cities from the Bay Area to San Diego may receive just 5 percent of the water they have requested next year.

Coalition response...Bill Jennings continues to beat the drum with the same message that others need to cut back on water use in order to protect the Delta. This may be a "news flash" for him but others have already cut back. In fact, San Joaquin Valley farms have been cutting back for 20 years thanks to federal regulations intended to help fish that have been largely ineffective. How can Jennings, or anyone else for that matter, justify the same old path when it obviously isn't working? Is their priority helping fish or is it putting farmers out of business? If its fish you would think they would devote their energy to finding a solution that really works.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Richard Stapler, BDCP

As California has matured as a state, we continue to take well-conceived steps toward lessening our potential for harm from earthquakes. Updating building codes ensures our homes, offices, and places we shop stay structurally sound and that public safety is prioritized. Bridges are upgraded or replaced, hospitals reinforced, and our infrastructure is armored against catastrophic failure.

From: Staff, Bakersfield Californian

(A subscription may be required to read this article.)
California is currently waiting on the final environmental impact report on Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to move water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta via two tunnels.
Wednesday on "First Look with Scott Cox," Californian columnist Lois Henry talked about the potential problems this decision could have.

From: Andrew Creasey, Marysville Appeal-Democrat  

The need for more water storage and the assurance that water from North California isn't sent south were the main concerns voiced at a town hall about water issues Tuesday night in Yuba City.

Laird stressed the plan wouldn't change the amount of water allocated to various parts of the state - including the Central Valley, Southern California and the Delta. He said it would instead improve the conveyance of the water via two tunnels, which would allow agencies to better manage what water is already there to improve habitats and create a reliable supply for farmers.

From: Frank Mickadeit, Orange County Register

(A subscription may be required to read this article.)
I haven't written about the water industry much in my nine years as a columnist, and now I remember why.

With Gov. Jerry Brown starting to roll out his $25 billion proposal to radically alter the Sacramento Delta and send more water to Southern California, I figured that last month would be a good time to dip my toe in. I wrote a column that focused on an alternative vision, as articulated by some water-industry folks who attended a conference in Irvine.

Water Supply

From: Seth Nidever, Hanford Sentinel

The driest 10-month stretch in California history prompted state officials today to announce an initial 5 percent allocation for the State Water Project.

The project delivers Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta water to farms in western and southern Kings County, to other large tracts of San Joaquin Valley farmland and to urban residents in Southern California.

From: Michael Cabanatuan, SF Chronicle

As the first significant rain of the season fell on Northern California Wednesday, the state Department of Water Resources issued an ominous water supply estimate that makes it clear that much more precipitation is needed this winter.

From: Dale Yurong, KFSN-30 TV 

Overnight showers weren't enough to impact the state water supply. On Wednesday the Department of Water Resources announced just a 5% allocation for contractors in the State Water Project, which includes farmers in Kings and Kern counties.

From: Staff, Chico Enterprise-Record  

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, a DWR press release states.

From: Janet Zimmerman, Riverside Press-Enterprise

For only the second time, the state issued an early-season water delivery forecast of 5 percent of the amounts requested by agencies supplying much of Southern California.

From: Antoine Abou-Diwan, Imperial Valley Press 

Farmers continue to speak out against the Imperial Irrigation District's recently adopted water apportionment plan.

"The 2014 (equitable distribution plan) based on 50 percent history and 50 percent straight line will discriminate against those growers that have installed water conservation measures and have been conserving water," said El Centro farmer Paula McConnell Pangle, addressing the board Tuesday during public comments.


From: Dawn M. Henley, Oakdale Leader

The topic of groundwater brought a standing-room-only crowd to the Oakdale Irrigation District Board of Directors Nov. 19 regular meeting. OID Water Operations Manager Eric Thorburn presented on groundwater specific to the OID service area where he covered a basic overview of groundwater, its management in OID, and OID's future plans.


From: Amy Quinton, Capital Public Radio

Chase Hurley is general manager of the San Luis Canal Company in Dos Palos. He points to a small dam near the river in western Madera County. It's likely the most important structure for the irrigation company because it guides water from the river into its canal system.  

"That dam, and this canal are sinking roughly six inches a year," says Hurley."So when that happens the dams not going to be high enough to physically gravitational push that down the canal."

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