Monday, July 28, 2014

News articles and links from July 28, 2014


From: Kevin Fagan, San Francisco Chronicle

Case Vlot pulls up groundwater through deep wells to keep his corn and alfalfa crops alive. Chase Hurley runs a water company nearby that sells river water to farmers who can't depend on wells. Normally the two would rarely talk to each other.

But that was before the drought, and before the land began to sink beneath their feet. Now they and every farmer for miles around are talking to each other all the time, brainstorming in ways they've never had to before.

From: David Pierson, Los Angeles Times

On a dusty clearing between a fallow wheat field and wilting orange groves, Steve Arthur's crew of two mud-splattered well drillers worked furiously to deliver a lifeline to another despondent farmer.

Using a diesel-powered rig that rumbled like a moving subway car, the workers bore deeper and deeper into the packed clay in hopes of tapping a steady supply of groundwater - about the only source of water that remains for many growers in this parched rural community about 40 miles north of Bakersfield.

From: Staff, Long Beach Press-Telegram

"Everyone's talking about water. For once, they're saying the same thing" is the motto of a California group called the Groundwater Voices Coalition.

Well, not exactly saying the same thing when it comes to all things water in our state. Just mention the prospect of an upcoming water bond, for instance, and you've got the same old fighting words: Too much! Not enough! Not a dime for Delta tunnels!

Water Supply

From: David Mas Masumoto, Sacramento Bee

Can the current drought in California make us smarter? Many are feeling the pain of a dwindling supply of water: Farmland sits idle; jobs are lost; cities are forced to make conservation efforts; politicians grope for solutions. Beyond the rhetoric of who stands first in line for this fluid treasure and how best to allocate a scare resource, the reality is that we live in an arid land and climate change will force us to live and work differently. But are we wiser?

From: Peter Gleick, San Francisco Chronicle 

If California and much of the West is suffering from severe drought, then why have the responses to it been weak and largely ineffective? The answers are as complicated as California's water system itself, with our wildly diverse sources and uses of water, prices and water rights, institutions, and more. But here are some observations.

From: William Welch, USA Today 

Even for a regular like Allen Keeten, who has been visiting here since the late 1970s, the retreating shoreline of Lake Mead behind Hoover Dam is a shock to witness.

"I hate to see it,'' the 58-year-old truck driver from Kenesaw, Neb., says, peering over the side of the massive concrete dam on the Colorado River. "Nowadays you've got to be careful when you are out on a boat because of all the exposed ground.''

Water Bond 

From: Steven Frisch, Sacramento Bee 

Before they left Sacramento for summer recess, legislators said they would work together to hammer out a new water bond bill when they returned in August. This would replace the $11.14 billion proposal currently on the November ballot, which has already been delayed twice.

Although legislators and Gov. Jerry Brown have put forward conflicting ideas that may be difficult to reconcile, we have confidence our leadership can get the job done. But it will be up to us to hold our elected leaders accountable because if they don't pass a workable water bond deal, we risk devastating consequences.

From: Cannon Michael, Modesto Bee

With California continuing to endure three straight years of drought with no end in sight, we must have a new water bond that provides us a safe and reliable water supply. We know that the state will continue to grow in population and the demand for water will increase. Even after the negotiations to pass a new bond failed in June, I am pleased that legislators like Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, have taken such an active role in keeping the water bond discussion alive.

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