Wednesday, May 21, 2014

News articles and links from May 21, 2014


From: Staff, KSEE 24

Scientists are estimating the economic impact of the drought on the Central Valley's agriculture to be $1.7 billion. The study by scientists at UC Davis finds that the drought could cost the Valley 14,500 agriculture jobs.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture requested this report so that information on the socio-economic impacts on the drought would be available and for lawmakers to have groundwork available for any future policies.

From: Mark Koba, NBC News

The dry conditions in the western U.S. are so bad that even many of the companies that are thriving in the drought feel economic pain.

Case in point-Limoneira, of Santa Paula, California, and one of the largest U.S. growers of lemons and avocados: It reached record revenue of $100 million this year thanks to higher prices brought on by a freeze in South America, said president and CEO Harold Edwards.

Despite the higher sales, however, getting through the drought is costly, said Edwards, who noted that his firm constantly monitors its underground wells so as not to overuse them.

From: Editorial, SF Gate

The test of any water policy is not if it works in the wet times but if it protects widely shared public values in the dry times.

So it is distressing to see Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., determined to toss out water management policies and protections, worked out over 20 years to balance the water needs of California cities, farms and the environment, in order to serve some interests at the expense of others.

From: Katie Orr, Capital Public Radio

California's drought may have a lot of negative consequences, but a new report out today says the state's economy won't be one of them. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

The report from Moody's Investors Service finds, short term, California's economy won't suffer as a result of the drought. It finds the state's reliance on income taxes and sales taxes will largely provide a buffer. H.D. Palmer with the governor's Department of Finance, agrees the state's economy has weathered the drought so far.   

Salton Sea

From: Staff, San Diego Union-Tribune

A federal appeals court says environmental reviews were properly done on the nation's largest farm-to-city water transfer, the latest ruling to uphold a 2003 agreement on how California agencies divide that state's share of Colorado River water.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that federal authorities properly considered how the transfer from Imperial County to San Diego would affect the Salton Sea, California's largest lake. The shrinking lake relies on water runoff from Imperial Valley farms.


From: Ramona Giwargis, Sacramento Bee

The fight for water during the drought pitted Merced County farmers from opposite sides of the county against one another in an emotional and lengthy Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday.

At issue was a controversial contract allowing two private landowners in Merced County to sell up to 23,000-acre feet of groundwater to Stanislaus County.

Press Release

From: Staff, Friant Water Authority

How the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has implemented the unprecedented release of water from Friant Dam inorder to provide a Central Valley Project water supply down the San Joaquin River to senior water rights holdersis being challenged in U.S. District Court in Fresno by the Friant Water Authority and many of its member water agencies. The case has been assigned to Hon. Lawrence J. O'Neill.

Those Friant Division contractors, all of whom normally would otherwise be receiving supplies of CVP water through the Friant-Kern and Madera canals, instead continue to face a zero CVP water supply allocation from Reclamation. That has resulted in large part because of the United States' decision last week to supply the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors from the river even though water was available from other sources.

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