Thursday, January 30, 2014

News articles and links from January 30, 2014

Federal Legislation

From: Staff, Stockton Record

Following through on a pledge made last week, three south San Joaquin Valley congressmen introduced legislation Wednesday to increase the amount of water pumped south from the Delta and to block the restoration of the San Joaquin River.

While the language of H.R. 3964 was not yet available, Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, said the bill would restore the reliability of water supplies from the Delta and would reform federal environmental laws that have sometimes restricted how much water can be pumped south.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Betty Jo Toccoli, Sacramento Bee

California is entering the third, critical year of a severe drought. Communities north and south are bracing for potential water shortages, and the state's economy is at risk just at a time when it is recovering from recession.

After members of our board of directors and I visited some of the state water system's key facilities in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta - the heart of the state's ongoing water crisis - we came away with a much better understanding of the need for long-term solutions.

From: Stoshu Larkin-Nabozny, Bakersfield Californian (Subscription required)

"I am bemused to hear so many proponents of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta diversion plan comparing the farmers of the Central Valley to the farmers in Owens Valley during the California water wars. They've got the analogy backward.

It's more correct to analogize valley farmers to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, since they're demanding that other parts of the state surrender water to them in order to accommodate their excesses.


From: AP Staff, KOVR 13

President Barack Obama is telling California's governor that the federal government will do what's necessary to help with a historic drought afflicting the state.

Obama called Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday for an update on the drought. California is in its third dry year and 17 communities are in danger of running out of water within four months.

From: Todd Fitchette, Western Farm Press Blog

Proof that nothing escapes the realm of the political - especially water and drought, an effort to better use very limited water resources in California apparently died during the Farm Bill debate.

California Representatives Devin Nunes, Kevin McCarthy and David Valadao, all San Joaquin Valley Republicans, successfully inserted language into the House version of Farm Bill to ostensibly help California residents during an unprecedented drought.

From: Michael Doyle, Merced Sun-Star; Modesto Bee

California congressional Republicans escalated the anti-drought pressure Wednesday, introducing an ambitious California water bill that includes controversial provisions immediately dismissed by the state's two Democratic senators.


From: Staff, Redding Record-Searchlight

"How you can favor a fish over people is something the people in my part of the world would not understand."

So said no less an eminence than House Speaker John Boehner, of Ohio, last week while visiting California to promote a measure that would waive various federal protections of rare fish and halt an effort to restore salmon to the San Joaquin River. Why? To get every drop of possible water to farms in the parched Central Valley.

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