Wednesday, July 2, 2014

News articles and links from July 2, 2014

Water Rights

From: Sharon Bernstein, Reuters 

California may ratchet up enforcement of drought-related pumping restrictions in slow-moving creeks and lakes under new rules being considered on Tuesday, prompting worry among farmers as the state enters the dry summer season.

The widely anticipated move by the State Water Resources Control Board comes during worsening drought conditions and political gridlock that has stalled progress on efforts to raise money to build new reservoirs and other methods for storing water in the future.

From: Robert Handa, KNTV

The Santa Clara Valley Water District has extended its deadline to cut off water to some South Bay farmers and commercial businesses.

Tuesday originally was the district's deadline for shutting down service to farmers and other surface water users in Santa Clara County. Water officials said there will be no more extensions because drinking water is now at stake.

From: Matt Weiser, Sacramento Bee

Six weeks after ordering thousands of California water users to stop diverting from rivers and streams amid the worst drought in a generation, state officials say only 31 percent have bothered to respond by sending back the required forms. Now, their efforts to force the rest to comply are prompting threats of lawsuits and economic chaos.

From: J.N. Sbranti, Modesto Bee

After more than 10 hours of often emotional testimony Tuesday by Stanislaus County farmers and other California water users, the State Water Resources Control Board delayed deciding what to do regarding conflicting water rights.

The board's staff had recommended taking steps toward regulating river diversions by those who have century-old water rights - including the Modesto, Turlock, Oakdale, Patterson, South San Joaquin and Merced irrigation districts.

Water Supply

From: Garance Burke, Associated Press

Throughout California's desperately dry Central Valley, those with water to spare are cashing in.

As a third parched summer forces farmers to fallow fields and lay off workers, two water districts and a pair of landowners in the heart of the state's farmland are making millions of dollars by auctioning off their private caches.

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