Monday, June 23, 2014

News articles and links from June 23, 2014

Farming News

From: Donald Anthrop, Contra Costa Times

Several recent columnists and writers for this paper have argued that cotton and alfalfa are "water-intensive" crops and should not be grown in California.

Let me first dispel the myth about cotton being such a water-intensive crop. The consumptive water use by a crop basically depends upon four factors: the percentage of the field covered by green foliage; the length of the growing season; the temperature during the growing season; and the humidity during the growing season.

Water Bond

From: Staff, Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles has begun a historic drive to decrease its dependence on imported water. The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the state's precarious water switching station and the key to the survival not only of salmon and other threatened species but of the state's agriculture industry, is in crisis. California is in the midst of a continuing drought. It is hard to fathom a higher priority than safeguarding the state's precious water resources, or a more crucial time to do it. That means an investment in the form of a carefully crafted water bond.

From: Staff, NBC- LA

[VIDEO] A major policy decision hearing in the California legislature next's all about water or lack of. NBC4's Conan Nolan talks with senate leader Darrell Steinberg about why the senator no longer supports the the water bond that is on the November ballot..a ballot measure that was innitiated by then-Governor Arnold Scwarzenegger. A lot has changed in five years, says the Steinberg. He tells us why.

From: Michael Gardner, San Diego Union-Tribune

Even while mired in a drought, Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers have been unable to strike a compromise on a new water bond that will have far-reaching implications for the San Diego region in the decades to come.

The latest in a string of bond proposals also reflects the sharp disagreements between the region's primary players seeking to influence how much money is spent where.


From: Sharon Bernstein, Reuters

As California enters summer with a below-normal mountain snowpack to feed its streams and reservoirs, the portion of the parched state experiencing exceptionally severe drought conditions is growing, experts said.

The most populous U.S. state is in the third year of a crippling drought that has forced ranchers to sell cattle for lack of grazing land, and farmers to let an estimated 400,000 acres normally devoted to crops go fallow. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday that while all of the state remains in a severe drought, the portion of the state in what is considered an "exceptional drought" increased in the past week from about 25 percent to about 33 percent.

From: Laura Anthony, KGO 7

Saturday is the first day of summer and it's expected to be long hot dry one.

California is in the third year of a devastating drought and farmers near Brentwood are getting some pretty bad news -- they might be getting far less water than they had counted on.


From: Staff, UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences

As California strains under a third straight year of drought, Gov. Jerry Brown and many legislators have shown strong interest in modernizing management of groundwater - the state's most important drought reserves. At the same time, a group of nearly 40 leading water professionals and scholars has been exploring ways California can move forward with more effective groundwater management.

Colorado River

From: Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times

Once upon a time, California and Arizona went to war over water..

The year was 1934, and Arizona was convinced that the construction of Parker Dam on the lower Colorado River was merely a plot to enable California to steal its water rights. Its governor, Benjamin Moeur, dispatched a squad of National Guardsmen up the river to secure the eastern bank from the decks of the ferryboat Julia B. - derisively dubbed "Arizona's navy" by a Times war correspondent assigned to cover the skirmish. After the federal government imposed a truce, the guardsmen returned home as "conquering heroes."

Bay Delta Conservation Plan 

From: Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times

A bold, $25-billion plan to ship more water to Southern California could create tens of thousands of new jobs a year for decades, a Brown administration study says. And even though the plan is at least two years from possible final approval, it is generating plenty of controversy..

The proposal, which still needs to be endorsed by federal and state wildlife agencies, calls for two enormous tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta that would deliver water to Central Valley farmers, Los Angeles and other cities.

From: Gary Polakovic, Los Angeles Times

It's been 40 years since the June 20, 1974, opening of "Chinatown," the fictionalized drama about power, corruption and what is arguably L.A.'s most crucial resource: water. The iconic film was Hollywood's make-believe version of an undying reality: In L.A., you have to follow the water..

Water in the West has been something of a fantasy since the first wagon trains. It's a drink mixed from equal parts Manifest Destiny, hubris and engineering derring-do. Aspiration would find a way to trump aridity; water would inevitably flow to our will, not nature's. Now the make-believe at the heart of Western water is withering, as the reality of drought and global warming take hold.

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