Wednesday, August 6, 2014

News articles and links from August 6, 2014

Water Bond 

From: James Nash, Bloomberg

California Governor Jerry Brown called on lawmakers to put a $6 billion "no-frills" bond measure on the November ballot, about half the size of a pending proposal, to secure the water supply amid a record drought.

Brown's plan would take the place of an $11.1 billion bond offering, scheduled for a vote in November, approved in 2009 by lawmakers and then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Brown said California can't afford the $750 million a year it would add to the state's $8 billion in annual bond debt service.

From: Melanie Mason, Los Angeles Times

Seeking to balance the state's water needs with his reputation for fiscal caution, Gov. Jerry Brown called for a "no-frills, no pork" $6-billion water bond in an email to campaign supporters Tuesday afternoon..

Brown kicked off the letter by noting that "drought conditions in California grow more serious by the day," and acknowledging more must be done for the state's water infrastructure.


From: Krista Daly, Imperial Valley Press

As counties across California begin to submit their annual agricultural crop and livestock reports, the impact of the drought is being seen.

Fresno County, for example, is historically No. 1 in the state and the nation for crop output but has dropped below Tulare County this year, said Dave Kranz, spokesman for the California Farm Bureau. Field crops had a 41.7 percent decrease followed by a 19.1 percent decrease in industrial crops. "Drought is a direct factor in that," Kranz said. "We would expect to see continuing impacts with 2014."

Water Supply

From: Jeff Barnard, Associated Press  

Water is being cut off to about a third of the farms on a federal irrigation project in the drought-parched Klamath Basin of Oregon and California.

A July 31 letter from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to irrigation districts says that the flows into the Klamath Reclamation Project's primary reservoir have been below pre-season forecasts from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, forcing a reduction in releases to districts with junior claims on water in order to meet minimum water levels for endangered fish.


From: Leigh Martinez, KOVR 13

The drought has forced many homeowners and farmers to dig deeper wells, tapping into the California aquifer. A recent Take Part web publication, citing NASA scientists, suggests using too much of this underground water could cause earthquakes.

University of the Pacific geology professor Kurt Burmiester said the possibility is a "maybe."

Burmiester said scientists have found that adding water, like in oil fracking, can cause the plates to slip, but removing water may produce smaller earthquakes outside of the faults.


From: Staff, Humboldt Beacon

Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) released the following statement after the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced its decision today to withhold water releases on the Trinity River needed to prevent a repeat of the 2002 Klamath fish kill:

"The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's decision today to withhold water releases needed to prevent a repeat of the 2002 fish kill in the Lower Klamath River is the latest example of how the federal government fails to plan for drought to the detriment of tribes, fishermen, and the environment.

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