Thursday, May 29, 2014

News articles and links from May 29, 2014

Water Supply

From: Alex Breitler, Stockton Record

Long thirsty for Mokelumne River water, San Joaquin County appears poised to oppose legislation that would designate 37 miles of the upper stream as wild and scenic.

The county fears such a designation could block future dams upstream of Pardee Lake and could undermine recent efforts by diverse interest groups to work together to cooperatively manage the stream.

From: Janell Baum, Farm Futures

The U.S. EPA's proposed Waters of the U.S. language does not provide a realistic overview of its scope or costs, a new analysis prepared by the Brattle Group for the Waters Advocacy Coalition shows.

The report, authored by University of California-Berkley faculty member Dr. David Sunding and dated May 15, finds EPA's proposed rule, contrary to the agency's indications, would expand the definition of waters of the U.S. to include small, isolated wetlands, ephemeral drains and many ditches.

San Joaquin River

From: Staff, Associated Press

Water will continue flowing from a reservoir east of Fresno for now after a judge rejected an attempt to turn off the spigots.

A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation can supply water from Millerton Lake to wildlife refuges and farmers on the San Joaquin Valley's west side while a lawsuit challenging the decision is pending.

Water Transfers

From: Lois Henry, Bakersfield Californian  

The city of Bakersfield lost on all counts in the first round of a lawsuit brought against it by an agricultural water district over whether the city must continue selling water to the district per a 1976 agreement.

The May 23 tentative decision by Ventura County Superior Court Judge Tari Cody could hamper the city's plans to run more water down the dry Kern River bed.


From: Pauline Bartolone, Capital Public Radio    

Many people who live in the Fresno area say water isn't flowing from their taps like it used to. Households using private groundwater wells are finding the water table is falling below their pump during the drought.  CapRadio's Pauline Bartolone visited the people in Fresno they call when the water runs out.

From: Justin Willis, KMPH 26

A new law that will help to manage groundwater throughout California, is now headed to the state senate for approval. The groundwater supply mostly goes unregulated.

Opponents of the bill say the "well police" will always find faults in the state's groundwater system. But the author of the bill says the intent is to allow local agencies to manage their own water.

From: Garth Stapley, Modesto Bee

Hoping not to alienate farmers, a water committee on Wednesday softened well-data recommendations going before Stanislaus County supervisors in two weeks.

Rather than requiring that well owners provide groundwater pumping information, the Water Advisory Committee is suggesting that people volunteer key data. Also, the information must be obscured before sharing it publicly, the committee agreed.

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