Wednesday, February 26, 2014

News articles and links from February 26, 2014

Water Transfers 

From: Garth Stapley, Modesto Bee

The prospect of irrigation water hawked on Craigslist became a possibility Tuesday with a landmark vote allowing Modesto Irrigation District customers to buy and sell to other farmers within MID's boundary at any price they want.

The 3-2 decision overshadowed a competing proposal to establish a pool system managed by district staff in which growers would buy and sell water for $400 an acre-foot. That idea also passed, on a 4-1 vote, but supporters acknowledged it might not get traction because sellers are likely to fetch higher offers on the open market.

Water Supply 

From: John Holland, Modesto Bee

The board of the Turlock Irrigation District voted 5-0 Tuesday to cut water deliveries to about half of what its farmers usually get.

Directors set a cap of 20 inches of water over the 2014 irrigation season in an effort to keep at least some carryover in Don Pedro Reservoir for 2015. Farmers could get up to 4 extra inches to complete their final round of watering, at a higher price that will be considered later.

Water Bond

From: Mark Grossi, Fresno Bee

Assembly Member Henry T. Perea, D-Fresno, and state Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, are the latest to propose a new bill tweaking the California water bond scheduled for November.

There are seven versions now, if you include the twice-delayed $11. 2 billion version on the ballot now. It's a crowded, confusing field at a time when President Barack Obama and Gov. Jerry Brown have drawn attention to an intense drought.


From: Dan Errotabere, East Bay Express

Imagine riding in a bicycle race through the streets of San Francisco, and after completing half the course, you are told that the rules have changed and every third rider must abandon pedaling and instead carry his bicycle the rest of the way. You would not be very pleased if you were that third rider.

Well, that is what happened to farmers like me along the west side of the San Joaquin Valley after we planted almond trees years ago but were later told that part of that water needed by the trees was going to be taken away. Combine years of surviving under these new rules with a devastating drought that is now gripping our state and the result is farmers must make difficult decisions this year whether to keep their trees alive.

From: Julian Suhr, East Bay Express

Brilliant cover story. Mr. Palomino does a splendid job chronicling the history and evolution of this crazy desert farming cash cow we've stuck ourselves with in the western San Joaquin Valley. Seems to me that we need to start thinking about not just whether our foods are "local" or "organic," but whether the growing practices make sense on a basic level, and then vote with our dollars in the same way Michael Pollan asked us all to vote with our dollars about industrial food so many years ago.

Food News  

From: Staff,

Today, February 26, is National Pistachio Day!  To help celebrate, we've brought together some fun facts, while some of California's food bloggers and Setton Farms have teamed up to bring us some very special recipes.

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