Tuesday, July 22, 2014

News articles and links from July 22, 2014


From: Lois Henry, Bakersfield Californian

There's so much going on with groundwater, it's a whirlwind! OK, a whirlwind you can't see and probably haven't heard of, but a whirlwind nonetheless.

It's no secret that Californians have been abusing our aquifers for more than a generation. Mother Nature has, so far, bailed us out with a few wet years between droughts to refill the tank. Not this year.

From: Amity Addrisi, KBAK

Water-well drillers are working 24 hours a day during the California drought. They're digging wells for desperate farmers.

Matt Rottman of Rottman Drilling in Lancaster said his company is booked for the next two years. In business since the 1960s, Rottman said his company has never been this busy. As a result of the drought crisis, farmers are now looking below their land to save what's above.


From: Peter Gleick, National Geographic - ScienceBlogs.com

In the past few weeks, I have had been asked the same question by reporters, friends, strangers, and even a colleague who posts regularly on this very ScienceBlogs site (the prolific and thoughtful Greg Laden): why, if the California drought is so bad, has the response been so tepid?

There is no single answer to this question (and of course, it presumes (1) that the drought is bad; and (2) the response has been tepid). In many ways, the response is as complicated as California's water system itself, with widely and wildly diverse sources of water, uses of water, prices and water rights, demands, institutions, and more. But here are some overlapping and relevant answers.

Water Use Efficiency

From: Antoine Abou-Diwan, Imperial Valley Press

The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors will consider a staff recommendation to make the IID's pilot on-farm water conservation program permanent at today's public meeting.

The on-farm efficiency water conservation program pays farmers to install and implement water-efficient irrigation measures in their fields, like sprinklers and drip irrigation systems. It's funded by the San Diego County Water Authority and the Coachella Valley Water District under the terms of the water transfer.

Farming News

From: Alexandra Stevenson, New York Times

His boots were caked with mud when Thomas S. T. Gimbel, a longtime hedge fund executive, slipped in a strawberry patch. It was the plumpness of a strawberry that had distracted him.

Mr. Gimbel, who once headed the hedge fund division of Credit Suisse, now spends more time discussing crop yields than stock or bond yields.

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