Monday, July 21, 2014

News, Articles, and Links from July 21, 2014

Water Bond 

EDITORIAL: Spending on the Delta a sticking point in the water bond  
From: Staff, Sacramento Bee

If Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers want voters to weigh in this year on a multibillion-dollar water bond - a big if - they will need to compromise on what may seem like an arcane point: Who controls the money earmarked for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta?

Brown proposed a $6 billion bond after a $10.5 billion proposal fell shy of the two-thirds votes needed in the Senate.

LETTERS: Dealing With the Water Shortage in California
From: P. Wenger; D. Fink, New York Times  

Re "Forceful Steps Amid a Severe Drought" (news article, Jan. 16):

The harsh program to fine California residents for outdoor water use is the unfortunate result of decades of inappropriate water policies in the state. The current crisis has been developing for years and was entirely predictable.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

OPINION: BDCP a scientifically sound solution for water shortage
From: Mark Cowin, Tracy Press

 The state of California is taking decisive and comprehensive action to protect and develop water supplies throughout the state, both to manage the impact of the drought and to plan for the long term. The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is just one piece in the Brown administration's overall water portfolio - but it is a vitally important piece.


El Nino may not bring needed rains to parched California
From: Sharon Bernstein, Reuters

 California's drought - its worst in decades - is likely to hold steady through the summer months and may not ease in the fall even with an anticipated El Nino weather pattern, a federal drought expert said on Friday.

Extreme drought conditions have enveloped California - the most populous U.S. state and an important agricultural center - since the beginning of the year.

LETTER: Drought Taking Huge Toll on County's Farmers
From: Eric Larson, San Diego Union Tribune

California's residents are beginning to understand the severity of the drought that has relegated snow and rain to relic status. Farmers, however, by profession must be weather watchers and don't have to come to a new realization that successive dry winters leave a terrible shadow. The impact to the state's farms that normally produce about half of our nations fruits and vegetables will be terrible.

5 percent ag loss figure doesn't tell whole story  
From: John Holland, Modesto Bee

 If your kid came home with a 95 percent test score, you'd likely say, "Great job." California will maintain that much of its agricultural output this year, despite the severe drought, according to a UC Davis study released Tuesday. But that's little cause for celebration.

Drought drying up small Central Valley farmers' future  
From: Robert Rodriguez, Fresno Bee

This time of year, May Vu's farm in Sanger should be carpeted with blooming flowers and a bounty of vegetables. But a failing irrigation pump and a nearly empty well have dried up Vu's farm and with it, her source of income.

The 58-year-old Vu knows she is up against major obstacles as California struggles through one of the worst droughts in its history.

Agriculture Chief Visits Water-Starved Families
From: Staff, Associated Press

 U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited drought-stricken homeowners on Friday in Central California, saying drought and climate change would require major investment to secure future water supplies.

Farmers using canal to move water
From: Rick Elkins, Porterville Recorder

Farmers along side of the Friant-Kern Canal that runs from Millerton Lake to the Kern River in Bakersfield have been using the canal to move water, but most are restricted to move water only within their own irrigation district.

At several different points growers are pumping water into the cement-lined canal, then taking it out a little further down. The Friant-Kern Canal runs 155-miles from Millerton Lake above Fresno to the Kern River near Bakersfield.

EDITORIAL: Dealing with drought is everyone's duty
From: Staff, Chico Enterprise-Record

When the State Water Resources Control Board sat down this week to consider authorizing fines of up to $500 for water wasters, it had ample evidence to support the decision because we, "as a state," aren't doing a very good job at water conservation.

We need a scapegoat for this drought  
 From: David Little, Chico Enterprise-Record

 California is running out of water and we need someone to blame. Mother Nature is just not a convenient enough target. We need real people. They're handing out $500 tickets now. This is serious. Who caused this?

From: Sam Sanders, NPR

This January, after the driest calendar year in California history, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency. He called on residents to reduce their water intake by 20 percent.

But downtown Los Angeles doesn't look like a city devastated by the state's worst drought in decades. The city is green with landscaping, and fountains are running. People still water their lawns, wash their cars and fill their pools.


California drought: High-bidding farmers battle in water auctions  
From: Lisa Krieger, San Jose Mercury News

Rumors drifted across the parched Central Valley that a bidding war for water might push auction prices as high as $3,000 an acre-foot, up from $60 in a normal year.

Yet, Ray Flanders needed water to keep his orchards alive. So this spring he sealed his bid in an envelope, climbed into his truck and drove 70 miles to hand-deliver it to the Madera Irrigation District, which had water saved from 2013.


West-side San Joaquin Valley water calamity may be unfolding  
From: Mark Grossi, Fresno Bee

After the water table below Stratford dropped an astounding 100 feet in the past two years, it set off a slow-motion collapse of the ground underfoot, crushing part of a town well.

Repairs were made quickly, but the crumpled well holds significance beyond this Kings County town of 1,200. After three dry seasons -- the last one being one of the driest on record -- summer havoc has begun for west San Joaquin Valley groundwater.

OPINION: That foothills groundwater belongs in valley
From: Vance Kennedy, Modesto Bee  

Are farmers in the foothills taking water from farmers in the valley? Yes, they are. We'll get to why, but here are some facts:

First, farmers in the foothills have three sources of water: rain, which is 12 to 16 inches per normal year; groundwater directly below the property (that water occupies about 15 percent of the "pore space" between the rocks); and underground flow from the aquifers that are shared with adjacent properties. Some of those "properties" actually have rivers flowing through them or reservoirs sitting on them.

Stanislaus County irrigation districts pumping record amounts of groundwater  
From: J.N. Sbranti, Modesto Bee

Despite widespread concerns about declining groundwater levels, some Stanislaus County irrigation districts have dramatically increased well pumping this year.

Modesto Irrigation District wells pumped 311 percent more groundwater this January through June than they did during the same months last year.

No comments:

Post a Comment