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Browsing the archives for the CA Farm Water Coalition category.

Sites Reservoir likely years down the road

Agriculture - California, CA Farm Water Coalition, California water

California Farm Water Coalition

July 20, 2016

Sites Reservoir likely years down the road

Redding Record Searchlight

Don’t expect to see a reservoir built in the hills west of Maxwell anytime soon. Plans to build the Sites Reservoir have been in the works since 1957, and if it is eventually approved, work on the project probably would not be complete for another 10 to 12 years, according to Jim Watson, the Sites Reservoir Project general manager.

“Sites is not for us. Sites is for our grandchildren,” said Nadine Bailey, chief operating officer for the Family Water Alliance in Maxwell.

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So Cal water district completes $175-million purchase of delta islands

Agriculture - California, CA Farm Water Coalition, California water

California Farm Water Coalition

July 19, 2016

Southern California water district completes $175-million purchase of delta islands 

Los Angeles Times

Southern California’s powerful water supplier has completed the $175-million purchase of five islands in the heart of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the ecologically sensitive region that’s a key source of water for the Southland.

The top attorney for the Metropolitan Water District said in a memo Monday that the agency had finalized the purchase of the islands from Delta Wetlands Properties.

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Delta: State Supreme Court sides with So Cal in epic water war over delta islands

Agriculture - California, CA Farm Water Coalition, California water

Daily report from California Farm Water Coalition

State Supreme Court sides with Southern California in epic water war over delta islands

Los Angeles Times

The state Supreme Court has cleared the way for Southern California’s powerful Metropolitan Water District to buy five islands at the epicenter of the delta’s water system, officials said Friday.

Some officials and environmentalists in Northern California had fought to halt the sale, worried about what the MWD planned to do with the land. The agency has said it might use some of the land to provide access for the construction of a proposed delta tunnel system, a controversial project some oppose amid California’s five-year drought.

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Judge invalidates long-fought Delta management plan

Agriculture - California, CA Farm Water Coalition, California water

From California Farm Water Coalition

June 27, 2016

Judge invalidates long-fought Delta management plan

Sacramento Bee

In a decision that could delay or complicate Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to build two huge tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a Superior Court judge ruled Friday that a comprehensive management plan for the estuary is no longer valid.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael P. Kenny ruled that the entire Delta Plan must be “set aside” until deficiencies he noted in an earlier ruling are fixed. State officials say they plan to appeal.

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News from California Farm Water Coalition 6-15-16

Agriculture - California, CA Farm Water Coalition, California water

Fishery decisions could help, harm water supplies

California Farm Bureau Federation

Two developments in recent days outlined alternative strategies for protecting fish whose populations drive water-allocation decisions for much of California: A coalition of business and water groups petitioned the state to address a key predator of native fish, while members of Congress asked federal agencies not to force additional water-supply cutbacks on the species’ behalf.

The petition from the business/water coalition asks the California Fish and Game Commission to allow more fishing for the striped bass and black bass, non-native species that feed on endangered chinook salmon and delta smelt in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Groups petition state to address predatory fish in Delta

Capital Press

Two farm groups have joined a broad coalition that wants the state Fish and Game Commission to address the issue of non-native, predatory fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

The California Farm Bureau Federation and Western Growers have teamed with water districts and conservation groups to petition the state body, asking that fishing controls for several types of bass be loosened or lifted.

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News from California Water Coalition — May 24, 2016

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, CA Farm Water Coalition

Central Valley Project Users Can’t Get a Break

WaterDeeply.org

Water supplies are better than normal in Northern California, so why is it that Central Valley Project (CVP) water users can’t get a break? The water users in question are the farms and ranches in the San Joaquin Valley that rely on the federal Central Valley Project water conveyance system. They are set to receive a meager 5 percent of their water supply this year.

It’s the middle of May and rainfall in the northern Sierra is currently 111 percent of normal. Lake Shasta is 93 percent full and 108 percent of its year-to-date average. By all accounts there is sufficient water in the system operated by the federal government to meet the needs that the CVP was designed to serve – irrigation and municipal water supplies.

Groundwater regulation impacts appear uncertain for Sacramento Valley

Appeal Democrat

The state took another step forward to regulate groundwater pumping in California, but the ramifications for the Sacramento Valley are uncertain.

Last week, the California Water Commission approved the final regulations that will guide the creation of sustainability plans by local groundwater agencies. These plans are required to be in place by 2020 or 2022 and will provide a path to bring aquifers into balanced levels of pumping and recharge.

Largest U.S. water reservoir at record low due to drought

United Press

The water in the largest U.S. reservoir has sunk to a record low, due to the severe drought in the American Southwest.

Lake Mead, in Nevada, had dropped 10 feet in three months. With an average depth of 1,084 feet in February, last week the reservoir measured only 1,074 feet deep, or only 37 percent of capacity, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

 

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Trinity River in the News from California Farm Water Coalition

Agriculture - California, CA Farm Water Coalition, Water, Resources & Quality

Trinity River

Fish vs. farmers in conflict   over Klamath River
From:Peter Fimrite, SF Chronicle

Big, healthy chinook salmon are all but leaping into fishing boats this   summer off the California coast, but the wriggling hordes could be in for   trouble when they start heading up the rivers on their annual egg-laying   runs.

Trinity water flow decision   raises ire of electric utilities, Central Valley farmers

From: Damon Arthur, Redding   Record Searchlight

In a decision that prompted threats of lawsuits from Central Valley   farmers and requests for reimbursement from power utilities, federal   officials agreed today to increase the flow of water in the Trinity River to   prevent fish downstream from becoming sick or dying.

Feds to supplement Klamath   River to aid salmon: Hoopa Valley Tribe calls plan ‘too little, too late’
From:Catherine Wong, Eureka Times-Standard

Hoopa Valley Tribe officials are calling the federal government’s plan to   release water from the Trinity Reservoir into the Lower Klamath River to   protect what is expected to be a large return of salmon “too little, too   late.”

Additional water from the   Trinity Reservoir to be released for Klamath salmon
From:Press Release, Eureka Times-Standard

The Bureau of Reclamation will release additional water from Trinity   Reservoir to supplement flows in the Lower Klamath River in 2013 to help   protect an expected large returning run of adult Chinook salmon from a   disease outbreak and mortality. The target date for augmented flows in the   Lower Klamath River is August 15. Because of the two day travel time between   Lewiston Dam and the Lower Klamath, the releases from Lewiston Dam will begin   in the early morning hours of August 13 and end in the last week of   September.

Trinity water release planned
From:Devan Schwartz, Herald and News

Days before Klamath River salmon runs are expected in California,   controversy surrounds federal actions meant to prevent a massive fish kill,   similar to one that took place in 2002.

Extra water releases planned   to protect Klamath River salmon

From:   Matt Weiser, Sacramento Bee
From: Matt Weiser, Modesto Bee
From: Matt Weiser, Fresno Bee

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will release extra water from   Lewiston Dam on the Trinity River next week in hopes of preventing a large   fish kill downstream on the Klamath River.

(The following comment is   posted to the above articles.)

Coalition   response…Farmers along the San Joaquin Valley   westside are again seeing a portion of their water being taken away as   Reclamation plans to send water down the Trinity River for fall-run Chinook   salmon in the Klamath River, which is not an endangered species. Reclamation   reports the extra water is expected to protect an anticipated high number of   returning salmon from a disease that is already established in the Klamath. A   salmon die-off occurred once back in 2002, which is what Reclamation is   hoping to avoid with extra water releases this year. However, there were no   supplemental releases from 2005 through 2011 and no die-off of salmon either.   So, where’s the reasoning for this month’s planned action?

Taking an estimated 60,000 to   100,000 acre feet of water out of the system could further harm Valley   farmers who already experienced an 80 percent cut in their water supply this   year from the Central Valley Project.

Reclamation has claimed its   authority to take this action comes from obligations imposed by the Trinity   River Division Central Valley Project Act of 1955. However, the 2000 Trinity   River Restoration Record of Decision provides the water to meet those   obligations and, given proper planning, would have been sufficient to meet   the needs of this action without creating further undue impacts upon Central   Valley Project water and power customers, including wildlife refuges.

In July 2012, then-Regional   Director Donald Glaser of Reclamation said in a letter that a supplemental   release in August 2012 would not harm CVP water users this year. He stated   that Reclamation would identify any effects that might result from last   year’s action. He also promised a long-term strategy for addressing fish   flows. Water users are still waiting for that plan in hopes that it will   avoid such situations that we are facing today.

We’ve seen this before: water   taken from farmers for environmental purposes with no proven benefits.

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News from California Farm Water Coalition 7-25-13

CA Farm Water Coalition

Levees

DWR Approves Funding to   Strengthen 90 Miles of Delta Levees
From:Pamela Martineau, ACWA

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced today that it has   approved nearly $30 million in funding for 14 reclamation district projects   in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that will strengthen nearly 90 miles of   levees.

DWR approves funding to   strengthen Delta levees
From:Press Release, Central Valley Business Times

Nearly 90 miles of levees in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are to be   rebuilt to one degree or another to provide protection against flooding, the   state Department of Water Resources says.

Fisheries

Feather River salmon trackers   note spring-run numbers improve
From:Barbara Arrigoni, Chico Enterprise-Record

 

An abundance of spring-run salmon has been seen this year in the Feather   River in Oroville, and officials said they expect the fall run to be   plentiful, too.

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News from California Farm Water Coalition 7-22-13

CA Farm Water Coalition

Water Supply

Conditions for major     reservoirs – July 21, 2013
From: California Data Exchange Center, DWR

Data as of midnight, July 21, 2013

Folsom Lake, American River     levels to hit 5-year lows
From:Matt Weiser, Sacramento Bee

Water levels in Folsom Lake and the American River this fall will drop     to levels not seen in five years as California verges on another extended     drought period.

Other problems are emerging on the Klamath River. Last week, the bureau     opened a public comment period on plans to release water from reservoirs on     the Trinity River to help salmon runs downstream on the Klamath River. The     run is expected to be large this fall, but without more water, another     large-scale fish kill could occur like the one that left thousands of     salmon dead in 2002.

Opinion: Long drought has     Isabella in critical state
From:Staff, Bakersfield Californian

We’re seeing a lot more “beach” than we’d like at Lake     Isabella. The historic average capacity for the mountain lake atop Kern     County’s western Sierra is 35 percent this time of year, but it’s now at     about 13 percent. If nothing changes, Isabella could bottom out at 8     percent by November.

Working through a dry spell:     No relief from state drought for Humboldt County ranchers
From: Kaci Poor, Eureka Times-Standard

With a request from the     Humboldt County Agriculture Commissioner’s Office for a secretarial drought     designation pending before the U.S. Department of Agriculture, local     ranchers say they are feeling the burn of a dry year.

A drought survey sent out by     the Humboldt County Agriculture Commissioner’s Office to about 60 livestock     producers in the area last month found that the lack of rain plaguing     Humboldt — and the rest of the southwestern United States — this summer     has led to an estimated 47 percent reduction in rangeland and grass growth     in the county.

Running on empty in the     Klamath Basin
From: Staff, The Oregonian

The Klamath Basin straddles     Oregon and California and comprises an area larger than nine American     states. It is famous for its natural beauty and supports farms and ranches     as well as tribal homelands and vast wildlife refuges. The Basin also is     the center of the most contentious and consequential water struggle in the     United States.

The Klamath Tribes this year     exerted their newly affirmed senior rights to the upper Basin’s water,     joining a call for water by Klamath Project irrigators, and several upper     Basin water shutoffs unwound like a game of Russian roulette. Income will     be hobbled, some folks could go out of business. Thousands of migratory     birds, meanwhile, have chosen not to land in wetlands that are dried up     from drought. And the peculiar hydrology of the Basin, hammered in recent     years by diminished snowpack levels, defies long-term projection.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

Federal officials criticize Delta tunnel plans
From:Christopher Arns, Sacramento Business Journal

 

The federal government isn’t happy with Gov. Jerry Brown’s tunnel plan.

According to a story from the Los Angeles Times, biologists from the     National Marine Fisheries Service have criticized a draft environmental     impact report of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, which calls for funneling     water from the California Delta to farms in the San Joaquin Valley.

California representatives:     Federal reports confirm Bay Delta plan not based on sound science
From:Staff, Lake County News

 

On Friday, several U.S. Representatives from Northern California called     on the Brown Administration to withdraw and fully revise their proposed Bay     Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) in light of draft environmental documents     being found “biased” and “insufficient” by federal     agencies in public comments made available Thursday.

Political Notes: Garamendi     says tunnel plan is ‘destructive’
From:Eric Vodden, Marysville Appeal-Democrat

 

Area Congressman John Garamendi is one of several Northern California     congressmen who have weighed in against Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed Bay     Delta Conservation Plan.

However, it has drawn the ire of the group of Northern California     congressmen in the wake of comments from federal agencies that commented     the report is “biased” and “insufficient.”

Trinity River

Blog: Water for salmon     proposal infuriates farmers, who threaten lawsuit
From: Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle

Low water on the Klamath     River has prompted the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to recommend a large     release of water from Trinity Dam to help what is projected to be one of     the best salmon runs in a decade, but farmers are all but jabbing     pitchforks at the plan.

The San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, representing     agricultural interests in the Central Valley, has threatened to sue if the     bureau proceeds with the plan to release 62,000 acre feet of cold Trinity     River water into the Klamath between Aug. 15 through Sept. 21.

Trinity River Water Could     Save Klamath Fish, But California Farmers Need It Too
From:Devan Schwartz, Northwest Public Radio

 

Water struggles in the Klamath Basin are spreading to the Trinity     River. Managers at the federal Bureau of Reclamation say by releasing extra     water from the Trinity into the Klamath River, they may avoid a fish kill.

Shasta Dam

Should California’s Biggest     Reservoir Be Even Bigger?
From:Mike Osbourne, KQED

 

Water planners are exploring the possibility of expanding Shasta Dam, a     concrete slab across the Sacramento River that forms California’s largest reservoir,     Shasta Lake. A $1 billion proposal to raise the dam by as much as 18 and a     half feet would expand the reservoir’s capacity by 634,000 acre feet,     enough to supply more than a million families for a year. (Though how the     water would be parceled out between farms, families and fish is still up     for debate.)

Colorado River

Congress urged to take     action on Colorado River basin

From: Associated Press,     Casper Star-Tribune 

Government officials are urging Congress to consider solutions to deal with     possible water shortages in the Colorado River basin that could include     finding ways to reduce demand, conservation and better management of water     supplies. Other solutions being considered include reuse of water and     augmentation from other water sources.

Fisheries

Big batch of threatened     salmon get more cool water

From: Heather Hacking,     Chico Enterprise-Record 

Hot weather predicted for today and tomorrow means more cold water from     Philbrook Lake to Butte Creek.

PG&E began releasing the     extra water Thursday morning, and within about 22 hours the temperatures     should drop a bit along the 11 miles where threatened spring-run chinook     salmon are waiting to spawn.

Legislature

Vidak, Perez on taxes, ag     issues
From: Staff, Hanford Sentinel

What is your position on the     key issues facing agriculture, including water, food safety and farm     labor/immigration issues?

VIDAK: Water is the number one issue for agriculture and for     job creation in the Valley.

PEREZ: I support increased surface water storage. I support     ground water recharge.

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News from California Farm Water Coalition 7-8-13

CA Farm Water Coalition

Water Supply

An easy & inexpensive way   to increase California water storage
From: Steve Knell & Jeff Shields, Manteca Bulletin

A few weeks ago, Senator Feinstein made news by calling for significant   measures to address California’s dire water supply situation, including the   construction of more storage and perhaps even modifications to the Endangered   Species Act. These measures, even if approved, will take years to come to   fruition. Indeed, Senator Feinstein lamented that despite authorization for   feasibility studies regarding new storage provided over a decade ago, some of   the feasibility studies themselves won’t be done until 2016. In the meantime,   New Melones Reservoir sits more than half empty at a time when SSJID and OID   have water that can be stored for future use by agriculture and to meet   environmental needs.

Dry Weather, State Cuts Turn   Once Verdant NorCal Farmland Into Dust
From: Len Ramirez, KPIX-5 TV

NorCal farmers have been dealt a double-whammy. Len Ramirez tells s state   cuts and dry weather are turning fields into dust.

Blog: Arizona Water 101 Series   – Why Arizona Cares
From: Juliet McKenna, Agua-Zona

A basic tenet of Arizona water management system is that we must concern   ourselves with California’s water management system. No, it is not not just   because California is our likeable neighbor to the west. Because both states   rely on the Colorado River to meet big chunks of municipal and agricultural   water demand, Arizona’s concern is simply based on self-interest. Stresses in   California’s in-state water supplies could lead to increased stresses on the   Colorado River  – bad news for the entire basin.

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