Tuesday, April 29, 2014

News articles and links from April 29, 2014


From: Rich Ibarra, Capital Public Radio

Hundreds of thousands of farm acres in California won't be growing crops for lack of water. This means higher prices for produce and that will affect food banks throughout the state.

The State of California is giving $25 million in extra aid to food banks in 24 counties affected by the drought. Mike Mallory is with Second Harvest Food Bank which serves the Mother Lode, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. He says the drought is putting increasing numbers of people out of work.


From: Mark Grossi, Fresno Bee

State water quality enforcers are telling farmers it's time to join a groundwater protection program that has been in the making for many years -- sign up by May 19 or face fines.

The deadline is for farmers in Fresno, Kings and parts of Tulare counties. The land is within the Kings River Conservation District, which is leading a coalition of growers to comply with the order.

From: J.N. Sbranti, Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County's groundwater drilling boom continues. Five times more new irrigation wells have been approved since January than were issued during the same four months last year, drilling permit data obtained by The Modesto Bee show.

At least 170 new agricultural wells were authorized from Jan. 1 through April 23 this year, compared with only 34 approved during that period in 2013.


From: Jonah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times

The pristine natural world is gone; get used to it.

Nearly all of the earthworms in New England and the upper Midwest were inadvertently imported from Europe. The American earthworms were wiped out by the last Ice Age. That's why when European colonists first got here, many forest floors were covered in deep drifts of wet leaves. The wild horses of the American West may be no less invasive than the Asian carp advancing on the Great Lakes. Most species of the tumbleweed, icon of the Old West, are actually from Russia or Asia.

Water Supply

From: Jenny Espino, Redding Record-Searchlight 

In the wake of a rise in the water supply, Bella Vista water officials will ease restrictions and increase deliveries to households and landscape businesses, including golf courses.

The Bella Vista Water District Board of Directors on Monday night voted unanimously in favor of increasing residential water allocations to 70 percent, from the 40 percent set in February, when the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released its initial allocation plan. The amount is based on a three-year average use.

From: Lauren Sommer, Capital Public Radio

California's extreme drought has drawn battle lines over who gets water and who doesn't. As KQED's Lauren Sommer reports, fracking and farming are vying for freshwater in California's Central Valley.  [Audio]

Farming News 

From: Norm Groot, Salinas Californian

We live in a world of contexts, one where any individual cannot have a full grasp on each and every thing that happens in our daily lives. While I may be intimately involved in water issues facing agriculture, I don't pretend to be an expert on issues facing the homeless, for example.

Farming and ranching is a complicated business. It takes lots of knowledge to understand how to raise crops or animals, as well as utilizing natural resources in a manner that conserves for years to come.

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