Monday, February 10, 2014

News articles and links from February 10, 2014

Water Supply 

From: San Jose Mercury

The Central Valley's thirst for water to irrigate its fields has already decimated its own aquifer. It's made a 60-mile stretch of the once-majestic San Joaquin River run dry, devastating an area where wildlife once flourished.

Coalition response...Contrary to this editorial, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan is actually about restoring supplies to water users who built and are paying for a system to deliver water that they have a legal right to use. The conflict arises when environmental priorities are met by a system that was never designed to meet a new, diverse set of demands. The BDCP bridges the conflict between environmental concerns and water users, which is what it is intended to do. When it comes to water use efficiency, almonds provide sufficient return for farmers to invest in high-efficiency irrigation systems that would have been unaffordable in yesteryear with crops like cotton or corn to pay the bills. Almost 4,000 family farms depend on the same system that brings water to the San Jose region. The reliability and protection from seismic risks that are built into it (BDCP) and the dependable delivery of water used to grow food puts farmers and urban water users on the same side of the table.

Water Supply

From: Kathleen Hennessey, Sacramento Bee

President Barack Obama will travel to Fresno, Calif., this week to highlight federal efforts aimed at helping farmers and others hit by a severe drought. A White House official said Obama will visit the Central Valley city Feb. 14.

From: John Coleman, Sacramento Bee

Nearly every day brings fresh signs that California is in a drought of epic proportions. Whether it's the historic announcement of zero deliveries from the State Water Project or the latest survey confirming the lowest Sierra snowpack on record for the date, it's clear that we are entering uncharted territory.

From: Rebecca Plevin, Capital Public Radio

Planting has hardly begun in California's Central Valley. But farm workers already fear the state's extreme drought conditions are a forecast for hard times ahead. During the winter, when the Central Valley's fields are quiet, the Westside Pool Hall in Mendota fills with farm workers, like Jose Gonzalez Cardenas.

From: Tillie Fong, Sacramento Bee

Downtown Sacramento beat the record for the most rain in a 24-hour period for the date on Saturday, posting 1.29 inches. The previous record for Feb. 8 of 1.17 inches was set in 1985.

From: Staff, KCRA 3

Even as rain fell almost continuously in Sacramento on Sunday, drought was not far from people's thoughts. Northern Californians said they are grateful for the rain during the last few days, but want more.

From: Washington Post

California saw a bit of relief from its extreme drought this past weekend, when big storms dumped rain on the parched state. But it appears that California won't be spared from another threat - Washington politicians talking foolishly about the water crisis or, worse, meddling in the state's efforts to cope.

From: Modesto Bee

Jeff Shields says he's going to sleep well tonight. Thanks to him, and the people who live in the South San Joaquin Irrigation District, about 44,000 Tuolumne County residents should sleep a little better, too.

From: LA Times

If lawmakers could send voters a November bond measure that would guarantee 150 inches of winter snow in the Sierra every year, Californians would certainly pass it, even if it cost a few billion dollars. The snowpack feeds the reservoirs and aqueducts that slake the thirst of Northern and Southern California, water the crops that power the economy in the Central Valley, and sustain the state's essential but sensitive heart and lungs in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta,


From: David Perlman, SF Chronicle

California's great Central Valley aquifer and the rivers that feed it, already losing water in the changing climate, are now being drained because of the drought, leaving water levels at their lowest in nearly a decade.


From: Dennis L. Taylor, Bakersfield Californian

It's human nature to look at your neighbor's Rain Bird sprinkler watering your driveway and surmise he is the latest in a long line of dunderheads. You're probably right, but first impressions can be tricky.


From: Staff, Western Farm Press

Top city and water agency officials will address California's historical drought, including its anticipated impact and water supply actions, during the World Ag Expo Water Forum. The event will be held on the Thursday of World Ag Expo, Feb. 13, from 12:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the International Agri-Center's Heritage Complex, 4500 So

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