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Browsing the archives for the Agriculture – California category.

LaMalfa & Garamendi Introduce Legislation to Build Sites Reservoir, Store Water for Millions of Californians

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, Doug LaMalfa Congressman CA, Water, Resources & Quality

Washington, DC – Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) and Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) today announced the introduction of H.R. 1060, which will accelerate the completion of a feasibility study of Sites Reservoir and authorize the project should it be found feasible. Located in Colusa and Glenn counties, Sites Reservoir is a proposed off-stream reservoir that would store as much as 1.8 million acre feet of water for cities, agriculture, and the environment.

“Californians have spoken strongly in support of investing in new surface storage, with over two-thirds voting to invest in projects like Sites Reservoir,” said Rep. LaMalfa (CA-01). “Sites provides more storage per dollar invested than any other proposed project, ensuring that California has water available for cities, farms, and the environment during future droughts. It’s time to fulfill the promises made to voters, move forward on Sites, and build the infrastructure that will allow our state’s economy to continue growing for generations to come.”

“California is famous for bouncing back from adversity and emerging stronger. Sites Reservoir will play a key role in making our state drought resilient by expanding our water reserves. The Sites project would help meet the water needs of our communities, farms, and environment. It has galvanized bipartisan support across California. The water bond, which provides significant funding for storage, was passed by an overwhelming majority of California voters. Let’s continue this momentum, pass this bill, and start building California’s water future,” said Congressman Garamendi (D-CA-03).

David Guy, President of the Northern California Water Association, urged support for the measure: “This bi-partisan effort promoting progressive water management is a step forward for California. The dry years in California have shown the importance of surface storage for all beneficial purposes–water needed for cities and rural communities, farms, fish, birds and recreation. An off-stream regulating reservoir on the west-side of the Sacramento Valley (Sites) is critical for all these beneficial purposes in the Sacramento Valley, as well as providing state-wide water system operational improvements.”

Fritz Durst, Chairman of the Sites Joint Powers Authority (Sites JPA), supported the Congressmen’s action: “Once again, our representatives, Congressmen LaMalfa and Garamendi, have exercised leadership by advancing this legislation and project. Sites Reservoir will improve statewide water reliability so desperately needed in drought years to protect and enhance the lifeblood of our economy, while also providing the necessary water to conserve our rich wildlife and natural resources.”

Sites JPA Vice Chair Leigh McDaniel highlighted the importance of expeditious Congressional consideration of this measure: “With the eyes of the country focused on California’s historic drought, it is vital that we work jointly to seize this opportunity to develop the infrastructure needed to store additional water at Sites Reservoir and beyond. Doing so will go a long way toward enhancing operational efficiency of the Central Valley Project and serve to mitigate the impacts of similar droughts going forward.”

The California Department of Water Resources recently reported that Sites Reservoir would generate an additional 900,000 acre feet of water during droughts, enough water to supply millions of Californians for an entire year.

The California Alliance for Jobs has also profiled Sites Reservoir and released a video detailing the project’s benefits to cities, farms and the environment. As an off-stream reservoir, Sites has the ability to recapture water released upstream, allowing improved conditions for salmon and reuse of water for urban and agriculture purposes.

The Northern California Water Association produced an infographic on Sites Reservoir and its operation in conjunction with other water infrastructure.

Attached photo: Congressmen LaMalfa and Garamendi respond to questions at a forum sponsored by the Association of California Water Agencies (Photo Credit: ACWA).

Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.

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Government Caused Mega-Lack of Water–Mega-Trends

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California water, Dams other than Klamath, State gov, Water, Resources & Quality

February 22, 2015

By Stephen Frank

California Political Review

Comment: The drought California is suffering under is natural. The lack of water is man-made, due to government policy. In 1975, when our confused Guv Brown was first elected, he stopped the creation of needed dams—we have not changed that policy, forty years later. Due to court orders, dams have not been built, water meant for people and farming has instead been given to fish and water is allowed to flow out to the ocean instead of being used by people.

In 1970 we had 20 million people in the State. In 2015, we have over 38 million—almost double—yet no new water storage facilities. Based on policy, not the drought, California has lost hundreds of thousands of acres of farms—with the summer of 2015 losing even more. Food cost are up, jobs are down and while we are demanding water conservation, illegal aliens continue to flood our State.

“A real-time illustration of the problem: Rain drenched the state in December, and runoff temporarily boosted reservoir levels; however, because temperatures were warm, snow formed only at very high elevations, so there was little buildup of Sierra snowpack, the crucial source of sustained water supply. — Stephen Frank

Mega-Drought Mega-Trends

Why Rain Is Not the Answer to California’s Desperate Search for Water

By Jerry Roberts, Santa Barbara Independent, 2/19/15

CRUEL IRONY: The nation’s top climate science denier has taken power over environmental policy in Congress — just as actual climate scientists have forecast California’s worst drought since the Middle Ages.

Far more than a shortage of precipitation, the state’s four-year drought represents the start of a 1,000-year event, new research shows, propelled by atmospheric warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

“The current California drought is exceptionally severe in the context of at least the last millennium,” concluded a recent study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The state’s drought is shaped not just by rain and snow scarcity but also by “record high temperatures,” noted two climatologists, who live in the real world.

Back in the Beltway, however, James Inhofe (R-OK) last month assumed chairmanship of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, where his evangelical Christian views on climate change now hold sway over efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

“Climate is changing and climate has always changed and always will,” Senator Sooner promptly declared. “The hoax is that there are people who are so arrogant to think they are so powerful they can change climate. Man can’t change climate.”

As policy makers from Santa Barbara to Sacramento earnestly seek ways and means to relieve California’s parched condition, Inhofe’s political ascendance highlights one broad obstacle to addressing the existential threats of climate change and drought. Sadly, it is but one of several baked-in, intractable impediments framing the crisis.

Mega-drought. The latest scary report on California’s drought is based on historic measurements of tree rings, which grow narrowly in dry years and wider in wet ones. Similarly, a separate study, published last week in Science Advances, points to a looming “mega-drought” throughout the Southwest in this century, comparable to that which destroyed the Ancestral Pueblo culture.

“Our results point to a remarkably drier future that falls far outside the contemporary experience of natural and human systems in Western North America,” the authors wrote. “Future droughts will occur in a significantly warmer world with higher temperatures than recent historical events … ”

A real-time illustration of the problem: Rain drenched the state in December, and runoff temporarily boosted reservoir levels; however, because temperatures were warm, snow formed only at very high elevations, so there was little buildup of Sierra snowpack, the crucial source of sustained water supply.

  1. Environmentally conscious Californians so far are meeting the state’s goal of reducing overall water consumption by 20 percent by 2020. But the supply surplus produced by conservation still won’t meet forecast demand as population grows.

That is the conclusion of an investigation by the Sacramento Bee, whose reporters surveyed 370 local agencies, then compared their demand forecasts to Department of Finance population projections.

“The key to this is, our water sources don’t increase as population grows,” a Natural Resources Defense Council analyst told the newspaper. “If population is to grow, we need to figure out a way to do it with the same amount of water.”

  1. One fundamental fact has shaped California’s water wars: Most of the state’s water is in the north, while most of its people live in the south; most recently, for example, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and the Central Valley received less than an inch in early February, as up to a foot fell in northernmost counties.

However, the war briefly halted in 2014, when Capitol pols forged a rare bipartisan agreement on Proposition 1, a $7 billion bond ballot measure. Voters bought it, 2 to 1.

Alas, the mini-era of good feeling ended quickly.

Committee hearings on how to spend the billions began last week, and the complex crosscurrents and bitter conflicts of water politics — fish vs. farmers, conservation vs. development, coastal vs. inland — swiftly resurfaced.

Notably, the California Water Alliance, representing Central Valley interests, attacked Save the Delta, an influential environmental group, over the need to build new, low-elevation reservoirs to collect and save more warm winter runoff.

“Millions of Californians should be very concerned that some extremist groups and individuals are pushing to move storage project dollars away from the creation of new water storage,” the pro-ag group charged. “Voters need to know that they will not become victims of a bait-and-switch … ”

As combat resumed, the State Water Resources Control Board was to convene this week for hearings on a range of possible anti-drought next steps, from greater rationing to more wastewater recycling.

“Astronauts drink their own pee and have been for some time,” Chairperson Felicia Marcus noted at the last board meeting, “but here you’re drinking someone else’s pee.”

So there’s that.



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News from California Farm Water Coalition 2-19-15

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, Water, Resources & Quality

Desperate plea for more water at the state capitol

From: Mariana Jacob, KFSN

Valley leaders headed to Sacramento to push state lawmakers to reverse a decision to cut back the flow of Delta water pumped south to local farms and communities.

Everyone in the Valley is facing the major possibility of a fourth year of a devastating drought. With little snow in the Sierra and a lack of rain, local water districts are anticipating another extremely dry year for farmers.



Another article:

NorCal vs SoCal: Battle over Delta water intensifies


It’s a battle that has gone on for years, but as the drought intensifies, so does the argument over who should get the water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

“Last year, we got zero,” Fresno County-based Harris Farms Vice President William Bordeau said.

Bordeau joined growers from the Central Valley as they packed buses and traveled to Sacramento to make their case.

“Thousands of people are going to go without work as a result of not having water and letting the water go out to the ocean,” Bordeau said.

Last year, some communities in the state received no water from the Department of Water Resources (DWR). They had to rely on their wells, which have now gone dry.

“We need water from the Delta because our reservoirs are real low,” said Alvaro Preciado, who works at a water plant in Coloma. “The quality of the water is not good. It’s very poor quality.”

“We’re asking to turn on those pumps,” said Paul Villareal, who also traveled to Sacramento with the farmers. “Consider the human element, not taking care of the Delta and the fish.”

But, those who campaign under the banner “Restore the Delta” say for them, it’s also about the people.

“We’re talking about the fish because the fish supply more jobs than this small area of California farming,” California Water Impact Network lawyer Michael Jackson said. “It’s not a matter of fish versus farmer. In this particular circumstance, it’s farmer versus farmer.”

However, people who live near the Delta are asking, “what about us?” Those residents worry that as freshwater leaves the Delta, salt water will come in. The state limits how much water can be pumped out.

“If they weaken it, all it is, is a transfer of wealth,” Delta resident and landowner Rogene Reynolds said. “It’s the better water leaving and the salt water intruding.”

On Wednesday, no decisions were made; but moving forward, state officials will face the challenge of trying to please both sides.


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Lies My Govt. Told Me About the CA Drought

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, State gov

Flash Report.org

Posted by Katy Grimes

at 10:01 pm on Feb 16, 2015

While California’s drought conditions are actually historically normal, California’s current drought is being billed by government and media as the driest period in the state’s recorded rainfall history. Scientists who study the Western United States’ long-term climate patterns say California has been dry for significantly longer periods — more than 200 years.
However, it only takes reading the weekly California drought water-wise tips in statewide newspapers and local government websites to know the information the environmentalists are foisting on us is hogwash. While California is in the middle of an historic drought, radical environmentalists are not letting a good crisis go to waste.

“If your kitchen faucet was installed before 1994, its flow rate is likely between 2.75 and 7 gallons per minute,” the Sacramento Bee claims. “New water-efficient kitchen faucets deliver water at 2.2 gallons per minute, but that can add up quickly too; five minutes of running equals 11 gallons with an efficient faucet.”
Interesting. I ran my 2-year old kitchen faucet full blast for one minute and got just slightly over a gallon of water. And, my husband and I rarely run the kitchen faucet full blast, even while washing dishes.
Oh, the lies just keep piling on.
“With an inefficient faucet, that same five minutes of running time could mean 35 gallons down the drain.”
It would take me about 30 minutes of running my 2-year old faucet to get 35 gallons of water down the drain.
Pile these lies on to what is happening in the north state.
Drought, California Style
So if California’s drought conditions are actually historically normal, and California’s current drought is being billed as the driest period in the state’s recorded rainfall history, why is the government is breaking up hydroelectric dams, and letting much-needed water rush to the sea for Coho salmon instead?
The human cost of over-regulation is bleeding California businesses and middle-class families.
In California, there is a perceived water war between the North and South parts of the state. The State of Jefferson is making headway with its secession over this and serious representation issues.
But it’s a government-created problem; if the State of California didn’t allow billions of gallons of fresh water to spill into the Pacific Ocean every year, we wouldn’t have a water shortage.
The water war is no longer between North and South; it is between radical environmentalists and the people. Most think that the Colorado River is the largest river, but the Sacramento River is about 60 percent larger. The problem is that, while officials store 70 million acre feet of water from the Colorado River, only 10 million acre feet of water is stored from the Sacramento River. The rest is lost into the Pacific Ocean.
And now we are tearing down perfectly good hydroelectric dams at the behest of radical environmentalists. Environmentalists call these “fish-killing dams:” Iron Gate, Copco 1 and Copco 2 in California, and J.C. Boyle in Oregon.
The U.S. Department of Interior has been actively planning to destroy these four dams on the Klamath River in Northern California, ostensibly so that salmon can swim another 185 miles up the river. The Klamath River flows from southern Oregon through the Cascade and Coast mountain ranges to the California Pacific Coast.
These dams not only provide water and flood protection to thousands of family farmers and ranchers who live along the river, but clean energy from the hydroelectric dams supplies electricity to 70,000 residents in the area.
Despite a lack of scientific evidence that dam removal will help the fish, or any legitimate study on the human impact of dam removal, the Department of Interior is moving forward to have the dams destroyed, and the Klamath basin “restored.” They even call their website “Water For Fish.”
The phony science being used to support the Klamath restoration project rests entirely on the Coho Salmon population, which environmentalists claim is endangered. However, many say that the Coho Salmon isn’t even indigenous to the area.
Every year, 17,000 Coho Salmon return to the Klamath River. But these salmon can’t be counted, according to the DOI, because they are hatchery fish. “It’s like saying a baby born at home is more of a baby than one born in a hospital,” Congressman Tom McClintock told me in 2013, noting the idiocy of the DOI argument. “Clean, cheap, reliable hydropower is the backbone of many rural communities that not only rely on the affordable electricity, but water deliveries for irrigation and drinking.”
“Dam removal is not a series of isolated incidents, but a logical progression of dealing with aging infrastructure,” according to InternationalRivers.org, in a story titled, US Dam-Removal Season Off To A Good Start. “According to American Rivers, 65 US dams were removed in 2012, joining the nearly 1,100 dams that have been removed across the US since 1912. Nearly 800 of those dams were removed in the past 20 years.”
Weather is not man-made
According to Weather.com, more than 10 inches of rain hammered California last week.
Some impressive rainfall totals have already accumulated as of 7 p.m. PST Sunday:
- 11.44 inches near Honeydew, California
- 8.03 inches at the Penitencia Water Treatment in Santa Clara County, California
- 7.28 inches in Carrville, California
- 7 inches near Sims, California
- 6.01 inches in Ettersburg, California
- 5.08 inches in Rocky Butte, California
California’s population has increased dramatically while water storage has not. The population in California has doubled since 1977. And lousy planning in the hands of environmentalists and government has left the state in dire need during this drought.
Demolishing dams would eliminate clean hydroelectric power on the Klamath River and replace it with costly natural gas-fired power plants that pollute the air and allegedly contribute to man-made global warming. You have to ask yourself what the real motive is.
Tags: budget deficit, California, California budget, California Legislature, cap-and-trade, CARB, Debt, Deficit, Democrats, drought, economy, Government, Jerry Brown, Katy Grimes, Legislature, regulations, Republicans, Sacramento, tax increases, Waste

This entry was posted on Monday, February 16th, 2015 at 10:01 pm and is filed under Blog Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

- See more at: http://www.flashreport.org/blog/2015/02/16/lies-my-govt-told-me-about-the-ca-drought/#sthash.kocx3P4f.dpuf

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California Water Conference 2-19-15

Agriculture - California, Water, Resources & Quality

PNP comment: Just what is needed — a liberal biased Democrat-led conference on the state of water in California! Is the “Grizzly project what I think it is? And really, California agency bureaucrat employees get $100 off the attendance fee! Sure hope that everyone is wearing their knee-deep rubber boots for this one! — Editor Liz Bowen

On February 19, 2015, Capitol Weekly & UC Center will host a conference: WATER 2015, a day-long program looking at the future of water in California. It marks the 14th conference on critical state issues jointly sponsored by Capitol Weekly and the UC Center.

WATER 2015 will feature two dozen water experts and decision makers looking at water policy in California. Panelists will discuss The Bay Delta Conservation Plan, the distribution of supplies, storage options, the impact of the Water Bond, new groundwater legislation, and conservation of the state’s most precious resource.

Our Keynote speaker will be California State Senator Lois Wolk, (D-3rd District).

The program will feature four panels: The Money, Drought Impact, The Delta, and Storage, Supply and Distribution.

Confirmed speakers include:

Assemblyman Henry Perea, Chair, Agriculture Committee
Jeff Kightlinger, Metroplitan Water District of Southern California
Joe Caves, Conservation Strategy Group
Marguerite Patil, Contra Costa Water District
Cindy Tuck, Association of California Water Agencies
David Orth, Kings River Conservation District
Denise Kruger, Golden State Water
Doug Obeji, Natural Resource Defense Council
Joe Byrne, California Water Commission
Thad Bettner, Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District
Mary Piepho, Contra Costa Board of Supervisors
Richard Atwater, Southern California Water Committee
Adrian Covert, Bay Area Council
Osha Meserve, Soluri Meserve Law Corporation
Jim Branham, Sierra Nevada Conservancy
Laurel Firestone, Community Water Center
Jennifer Bowles, Water Education Foundation
Anthony York, Grizzly Bear Project
Amy Quinton, Capital Public Radio
Chris Austin, Maven’s Notebook

Register now to save your seat. $199 registration fee includes: coffee, lunch and all conference materials.

Special $99 rate for California state government staff!

For Sponsorship information, contact Tim Foster at 916 444 7665 or tim.foster@capitolweekly.net, or Michelle Matheson at Aim-Point, at 916 669 9372 or michelle@aim-point.com.

For Registration questions, contact Capitol Weekly, at 916 444 7665 or tim.foster@capitolweekly.net,

For questions about content, please contact John Howard at 916 444-7665 or john.howard@capitolweekly.net.

Sponsors include The California Endowment, the Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations, Californians for Water Security, The California Channel, Capital Public Radio, The California Center for Civic Participation, The Gualco Group Inc., The Water Education Foundation, KP Public Affairs, Fiona Hutton and Associates, Comcast Spotlight, Maven’s Notebook, the California Building Industry Association and the California Water Association.

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BLM and Forest Service announce 2015 grazing fee

Agriculture - California, cattle, Modoc County

Modoc County Record

Feb. 5, 2015

BLM and Forest Service announce 2015 grazing fee

The Federal grazing fee for 2015 will be $1.69 per animal unit month
(AUM) for public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and $1.69 per head month (HM) for lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The 2014 fee was $1.35.

An AUM or HM – treated as equivalent measures for fee purposes – is the use of public lands by one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month. The newly calculated grazing fee, determined by a congressional formula and effective on March 1, applies to nearly 18,000 grazing permits and leases administered by the BLM and more than 8,000 permits administered by the Forest Service.


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State reviews dry year response, warns of curtailments in 2015

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather

Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

By David Smith


Posted Feb. 5, 2015 at 10:46 AM

Despite the state’s heavy rains in December, California is once again gearing up for a dry year and the effect it will have on water users.
Late in January, the State Water Resources Control Board issued notice of a surface water shortage and the potential for curtailment of water right diversions this year.
In 2014, 5,603 state water rights holders had their rights curtailed, disallowing their ability to divert water. The notice states that water rights will once again be curtailed this year if precipitation does not increase significantly over the next couple of months.
The curtailments begin with junior water rights holders, whose rights have been established the latest. Should those curtailments not be enough, they can extend to holders of more senior rights.
The SWRCB also recently released its review of last year’s efforts to conserve water during the dry year, identifying a number of issues the state had and potential solutions.
The report reviews the response to the 2014 dry year and the response that was initiated in 1978 during that decade’s major drought.
The report recommends that the state board improve the accuracy and timeliness of water demand and supply data; increase the spread of information to involved parties, such as supply forecasts and expected dates of curtailment; and develop additional tools for analysis and enforcement of the water rights system.
The report also identifies what the board believes would be the “ideal” water rights system for the state, based on comments received after last year’s curtailment effort.
That list includes adjudication that accounts for all water rights, including the most senior riparian and pre-1914 rights, and extinguishes unexercised rights for all streams. The report also suggests that there should be an establishment of minimum in-stream flow for all streams and real-time management of flows and diversions “that accurately tracks water availability and the need for curtailment based on the accounting of water rights, hydrology, and by ensuring that minimum in-stream flow levels are met.”
The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors in the past has expressed alarm at the idea of the state using minimum stream flows as a benchmark for determining water use, but the report does not detail how the state would accomplish the real-time system, other than investing in the proper technology.
The whole report, with all of the board’s recommendations, can be found at http://goo.gl/cecG5u.

- See more at: http://www.siskiyoudaily.com/article/20150205/NEWS/150209880#sthash.3pjVCQDO.dpuf

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Whiskey for Drinking / Water for Fighting: Coastal District Fights California Over Water

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, CA & OR, State gov, Water, Resources & Quality

California Political Review

In the old West the saying was, “whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting”. We still live in the Old West by that standard. Guv Brown tried to steal water from the North during his first terms in office by creating a “peripheral canal”. Many counties in Northern California gave voted 90% NO vote to that measure. Now he is doing the same, but changed the name to the “Delta Tunnel”—still moving water from north to south, without creating an new water.

For decades California has been fighting over water from the Colorado River—it has been settled, part of the reason California has no water. The settlement gave other States the water we stole. Now the Central Coast has a war over water going on.

Environmentalists are in the courts stopping the permitting of desalinization plants on the Central Coast.

“The desalination plant is being built by Cal-Am, which has been on a deadline to find a new water source for the Monterey Peninsula since 1995, when the State Water Resources Control Board ordered Cal-Am to reduce illegal pumping of the Carmel River.
In 2009, a cease-and-desist order imposed a deadline of Jan. 1, 2017, when pumping from the river is to be cut by more than 50 percent, a terrifying prospect for a regional economy that relies on tourism and boasts some of the best golf courses in the world.”

By stopping the creation of new water, these folks are assuring that the Central Coast becomes a Third World State—poverty due to lack of water. Why do radical, Al Gore wannabees, hate people?

RB Drought

Coastal District Fights California Over Water

By JON CHOWN, courthouse News, 1/23/15

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (CN) – Marina Coast Water District sued the California State Lands Commission to try to stop drilling on a test well for a desalination plant for the Monterey Bay Peninsula.
The California American Water Co. is named as a real party in interest in the Jan. 15 lawsuit in Santa Cruz County Court. The water district’s lawsuit against the California Coastal Commission over the same issue is before the same court.

The Ag Land Trust is also a party in that lawsuit against California American Water (Cal-Am) and the Coastal Commission. Cal-Am spokeswoman Catherine Stedman said Cal-Am would likely move to combine this latest suit with the first.

The desalination plant is being built by Cal-Am, which has been on a deadline to find a new water source for the Monterey Peninsula since 1995, when the State Water Resources Control Board ordered Cal-Am to reduce illegal pumping of the Carmel River.

In 2009, a cease-and-desist order imposed a deadline of Jan. 1, 2017, when pumping from the river is to be cut by more than 50 percent, a terrifying prospect for a regional economy that relies on tourism and boasts some of the best golf courses in the world.

“The desal plant is the solution to the peninsula’s water shortage, which is extremely serious,” Stedman said. “If the order were imposed it would be absolutely devastating to our community.”
According to the lawsuit, Marina Coast Water District, which serves about 30,000 customers just a few miles north of the Monterey Peninsula, is concerned that Cal-Am’s desalination project could harm the Salinas Valley Groundwater Basin, where Marina’s water comes from.
Cal-Am’s desal project is in north Marina and is projected to produce about 5.4 million gallons of water per day. It calls for slant wells to be drilled near the coastline that would take ocean water from the tip of the Salinas Valley basin. A small amount of fresh water would be drawn in as well, but would be replaced.
Cal-Am will use the test slant well to calculate how much water being drawn is groundwater and how much is seawater.
It hopes to show that the desalination plant would not draw more from the Salinas Valley aquifer, from which it has no water rights, than it would pump back in. The test slant well is to be drilled 1,000 feet into the bay and 290 feet below the ocean floor.
“The test will allow us to answer a series of questions: How much water can we really draw from one well? And that gets to the feasibility of the project. … It also tests water quality and will help with finalizing treatment protocols,” Stedman said. “But perhaps most importantly it will answer the question of how much water will be ocean water versus groundwater, which has been the issue for many groups. There is a concern that it will impact the Salinas Valley Groundwater Basin.”

That concern led the City of Marina to deny Cal-Am a permit to launch the project, but Cal-Am appealed to the Coastal Commission, won approval and began building in November 2014.

Cal-Am hopes to be done by March, when the Western snowy plover nesting season will stop construction.

On Jan. 21, Marina Coast’s request for a temporary restraining order to stop the drilling was denied in Santa Cruz County Court. Judge Paul Marigonda scheduled a preliminary injunction hearing for April 21.

Marina Coast’s complaint against the State Lands Commission claims that the state’s approval for the test well did not comply with the California Environmental Quality Act because the commission relied on a “substitute” environmental document prepared by the Coastal Commission that was “piecemealed” together and failed to properly analyze the project. In particular, the document failed to recognize that the test well would remain as part of the larger permanent project.

Stedman acknowledged that the test well might remain, but only if the project were approved, and that Cal-Am is monitoring the test well to make sure there is no significant impact to the basin. The tests could take two years.

“We are drilling vertical monitoring wells to measure the level in the basin and if we see it drop by a foot, then we would stop production of the test well,” she said.

Stedman said that if everything continues as planned, the desalination plant would be operational in 2019, two years beyond the state deadline. Salinas Valley’s agricultural industry, which produces more than $1 billion of produce each year, also threatened to sue, but Stedman said companies want to see the results of the test well first.
Cal-Am serves about 630,000 people in 50 communities throughout California. Its parent company American Water, headquartered in Voorhees, N.J., is the largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company in the United States, according to its website. It serves an estimated 14 million people in more than 40 states and parts of Canada, operating as regulated utilities in 16 of those states.


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Comment on Kamala Harris as our next U.S. Senator

Agriculture - California, Elections, Federal gov & land grabs

By Liz Bowen

California State Attorney General Kamala Harris is not a friend to the rural agricultural areas or small business. She has specifically agreed to lawsuits that affect water and the environment in Siskiyou County. Personally, I believe she will make a worse Senator that Barbara Boxer did!  This is bad, sad news for the North State.

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Forecasters now predict wet winter in California

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather

The federal Climate Prediction Center now foresees a wet winter throughout California, particularly in areas south of Sacramento, as a result of a weak El Nino combining with the state’s normal wet season. The updated prognosis comes as the U.S. Drought Monitor shows drought conditions are slowly improving as a result of recent rains.

Tim Hearden
Capital Press
Published: December 19, 2014 4:42PM

SACRAMENTO — Federal forecasters are going bullish on California’s winter prospects, predicting higher-than-average precipitation for the drought-parched state through March.
The anticipated southern storms from a weak El Nino are combining with the storm activity that California normally gets this time of year to produce the rosy outlook, observes Michelle Mead, the National Weather Service’s warning coordinator here.
The federal Climate Prediction Center’s updated three-month outlook map shows a wet pattern extending throughout the Southwest and into Texas, while northern areas of the Pacific Northwest appear to be headed for drier-than-normal weather.
“The probabilities are increasing that we’ll stay in a progressive pattern,” Mead said. “Seasonally California is entering its wet season. It started out well, and the long-range models indicate that pattern will continue.”
The prognosis comes as some areas of Northern California have been receiving nearly daily rainfall since Thanksgiving weekend and are approaching precipitation records for December.
The Sacramento airport — which sits amid prime rice ground just north of the city — had recorded 7.63 inches of rain for the month as of Dec. 18, making it likely that area will surpass its December record of 8.22 inches before the end of the month.
Redding — which measured rainfall in 17 of the first 18 days of December — was at 8.68 inches for the month, well above its normal 5.44 inches, according to the weather service. However, the city still has a ways to go to achieve the 14.72 inches it sopped up in December 2002.
All the rain is beginning to have an impact on the state’s three-year drought, albeit slowly. The U.S. Drought Monitor’s updated map shows a majority of Northern California has seen a one-category improvement, mostly from “exceptional” to “extreme.”
State and federal officials have said California will need 150 percent of its normal precipitation to completely recover from the drought, as major reservoir levels have been near historic lows.
The state would need 150 percent of normal snowpack, too, since snowmelt in the spring continues to replenish reservoirs after the winter rains are over, Mead explained. So far, the state is still at only 47 percent of its average snowpack for this time of year, as most of the storms have been warn with higher-elevation snow levels.
That trend is expected to continue into the winter, as the Climate Prediction Center envisions above-average temperatures throughout the West through March.



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