Ag Today Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Too many water straws in the ground?
By Alex Breitler
Where’s the water?
Somebody’s got to ask that question, state Sen. Lois Wolk says, before even more new wells can be drilled in California.
Never one to shy away from controversial water policy, Wolk, a Davis Democrat whose district formerly included Stockton, is pushing a bill that would require local agencies to place conditions on new well construction — in some cases, at least.
The state is already implementing new laws regulating the use of precious groundwater for the first time in California, but it will be decades before all...
Ag Today Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
California farmworker families await Supreme Court immigration ruling
By Peter Hecht
UC Davis student Lizbeth Cuevas stood outside the highest court in the land on Monday as the Supreme Court examined whether President Barack Obama can protect as many as 5 million unauthorized immigrants from deportation.
Excited and anxious, Cuevas showed up in Washington, D.C., on behalf of two of those people: her parents, both farmworkers in California.
“My drive and my motivation and my work ethic come from my parents,” said Cuevas, 24, by telephone. She’s due to graduate from UC Davis in June with a degree in...
Ag Today Monday, April 18, 2016
Monday, April 18, 2016
Delta pumping to Southern California restricted despite rainy winter
By Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow
For the first time in five years, Northern California’s rivers are roaring and its reservoirs are filled almost to the brim.
But you’d hardly know it, based on how quiet it’s been at the two giant pumping stations at the south end of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The pumps deliver Sacramento Valley water to 19 million Southern Californians and millions of acres of farmland in the San Joaquin Valley.
While precipitation has been roughly four times heavier than a year ago, the Delta pumps...
Ag Today Friday, April 15, 2016
Friday, April 15, 2016
Striking back on Delta land buy
By Alex Breitler
Declaring that the Delta “will not be the next Owens Valley,” San Joaquin and Contra Costa counties — along with farmers and environmental groups — sued Thursday to block a Southern California water district from buying more than 20,000 acres of farmland in the heart of the estuary.
The lawsuit, filed in San Joaquin County Superior Court, charges that the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California violated the law when it determined that the $175 million land buy is exempt from environmental study.
“The political leaders, residents, and landowners of...
Ag Today Thursday, April 14, 2016
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Monterey County Herald
Concern runs high about fumigant use
By D. Lee Taylor
Spreckels >> What state pesticide regulators wanted Tuesday night in Spreckels was input on three specific points they would use to craft a new rule on fumigant use. What they got instead was an emotional debate on whether pesticides and fumigants should be used at all.
The workshop, held at the Spreckels Veterans Memorial Building, drew well over 150 area residents. It was designed to solicit comments on three areas the Department of Pesticide Regulation is considering before moving forward with drafting new rules governing fumigant application.
Ag Today Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
McClatchy News Service
House Republicans reopen the bidding on California water bill
By Michael Doyle
WASHINGTON - House Republicans intent on storing more California water and redirecting it to farms have resurrected some familiar and controversial ideas, this time as part of a must-pass spending bill.
The provisions, including a freeze on an ambitious San Joaquin River restoration program and mandated pumping from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, are now folded into a Fiscal 2017 energy and water appropriations bill. It’s a new tactical move, designed for leverage.
“Once passed by the House, (this) offers the Senate another chance to consider this...
Ag Today Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Southern California water agency signs $175 million deal to buy Delta islands
By Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow
Already viewed with suspicion and hostility in the north state water community, the powerful Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is broadening its reach by purchasing $175 million worth of real estate in the very hub of California’s water delivery network: the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Metropolitan said Monday it has signed a 103-page contract to buy five agricultural Delta islands from Delta Wetlands Properties, a company controlled by Swiss financial services conglomerate Zurich Insurance Group. It represents the most concrete...
Ag Today Monday, April 11, 2016
Monday, April 11, 2016
Debate swirls over striped bass role in rivers’ salmon population
By John Holland
The trouble with striped bass started, the story goes, when 132 of the East Coast natives traveled by train to California in 1879.
The fingerlings in the tanks were planted near Martinez and multiplied into a thriving fishery in San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
The stripers did something else: They dined on the native salmon that swim these same waters and the rivers that run into the Delta. Today, the predation issue stands front and center in the debate over how to reverse...
Ag Today Friday, April 8, 2016
Friday, April 8, 2016
Los Angeles Times
Rainfall, snowpack -- and a paltry allocation to a powerful water district
By Robin Abcarian
In the weeks leading up to the Bureau of Reclamation's announcement about how much water would be available to Californians next year, some users waited with anticipation, others with dread.
Heavy rains in March and a plentiful snowpack had raised hopes for farmers denied their usual allotments of inexpensive federal water by the four-year drought. Bureau officials had just dumped thousands of cubic feet of water from the Shasta Reservoir, the state's biggest, because it was in danger of overflowing from early...