Wednesday, April 30, 2014

News articles and links from April 30, 2014


Water Bond 

From: Jeremy White, Fresno Bee

The drought-driven quest to put a new water bond before California voters has fluctuated over the last few weeks, marked by new measures appearing, old ones evaporating and legislators shifting allegiances.

Lawmakers have introduced no fewer than nine water bond proposals, all vying to replace the $11.1 billion measure that is scheduled for the November ballot but widely believed to have little chance of passage.

From: Staff, Chico Enterprise Record 

North state Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Loma Rica, Tuesday pulled his own water bond proposal to sign on to a Democrat's version, which later cleared a committee.

Logue became a co-author of AB2686 by Assemblyman Henry Perea, D-Fresno, which Tuesday afternoon passed out of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on an 11-1 vote.

Drought

From: Lois Henry, Bakersfield Californian

Water does funny things in California. When there's a drought as bad as the one we're in now, it does things you wouldn't think were possible. Like flow backwards. As in south to north. I'm talking about water in the California Aqueduct, which was specifically built to bring water from the north to the south.

But if flows out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are reduced to a trickle, local agricultural water districts are preparing to move banked groundwater from Kern County back up the system to reach growers in the Lost Hills, Berrenda Mesa, Belridge and Dudley Ridge districts.

From: Amy Quinton, Capital Public Radio

California supplies virtually all of the nation's sushi rice and half of it is exported. But of all the food crops in the state, rice is likely to be affected by the drought the most. The mere speculation of losses is already driving up prices.

At Montna Farms near Yuba City, huge drag scrapers level a rice field in preparation for planting. The rice grown in the Sacramento Valley is primarily medium grain rice. Nicole Van Vleck with Montna Farms says the high gluten sticky rice is perfect for sushi.

From: David Castellon, Visalia Times-Delta

When Phil Deffenbaugh thinks about the nearly 20 years he has worked at Lake Kaweah, he said it's hard to remember a time when the water has been as low as it has been in recent days. As of last week, Lake Kaweah was at about 25 percent of its capacity, thanks in large part to the statewide drought.

"We are low; today we have 46,000 acre feet," Deffenbaugh, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's manager for the lake, said Friday.

Regulation

From: Antoine Abou-Diwan, Imperial Valley Press

Farmers are crying foul over a proposed revision of the federal Clean Water Act, saying it would burden them with onerous new regulations and could limit ordinary farming practices. The American Farm Bureau Federation issued a statement this week urging its members to fight the proposal.

"It would expand the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and Army Corps of Engineers regulatory authority over new lands," said Kari Fisher, associate counsel for the California Farm Bureau Federation.

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