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Browsing the archives for the California water category.

Central Valley Project water allocations hit 100 percent – first time since 2006

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California water, Federal gov & land grabs, State gov

Read more here:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article144007699.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Editorial: Get serious about more California water storage

Air, Climate & Weather, California water

EDITORIAL: Drought’s over for most in California. Now let’s get serious about more water storage.

Fresno Bee

April 7, 2017

Friday, while the heavens were drenching the Valley with heavy rains, Gov. Jerry Brown lifted his emergency drought declaration for most of California.

If you’re thinking that means it’s perfectly OK to take extra-long showers, saturate your lawn with water this summer or stop planting drought-resistant shrubs and flowers, you’d be wrong.

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Did this year feel like the wettest ever? In California’s northern Sierra, it’s about to be

Air, Climate & Weather, California water

Sac Bee.com

April 8, 2017

The northern Sierra Nevada, which supplies water for much of the rest of California, is poised to surpass its wettest year in recorded history well before the rainy season comes to a close.

As of Saturday morning, the region had accumulated an average of 87.5 inches of water across eight northern Sierra stations since the beginning of the season on Oct. 1, according to data from the California Department of Water Resources.

Erick Kurth, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, said rain and snow predicted for the upcoming week could help bring the extra water needed to exceed the 1982-1983 record. Areas throughout the Sierra mountains saw snowfall into Saturday afternoon. Rain is expected to shower the region again beginning Tuesday and and last through Thursday.The current record for the northern Sierra was established when the water year running from Oct. 1, 1982 through Sept. 30, 1983 saw a total of 88.5 inches.

Kurth said a fairly wet fall season paired with rain and snowfall brought on by a series of atmospheric rivers this January and February fed current high water levels.

“I think it’s notable that we could beat the record now,” Kurth said. “We’re really only about half way through the water year.”

Saturday’s year-to-date average sits at 205 percent above normal for this time in the water year, according to Department of Water Resources data. A typical water year in the northern Sierra comes in at an average of 50 inches of precipitation.

Read more here:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article143554154.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Brown says California’s drought is over. But some restrictions will remain.

California water

The drought officially ended in most of California on Friday, but state officials vowed to clamp down on wasteful water use and impose a long-term conservation program that could create friction with urban water users.

Following a deluge of wet weather that left reservoirs brimming and the Sierra snowpack bulging, Gov. Jerry Brown declared an end to a drought that brought California some of the driest periods in recorded history.

But the governor warned the state’s groundwater supplies remain perilously low in some areas, and the state will continue to forbid Californians from hosing off sidewalks, watering their lawns during or immediately after rainfalls, and other wasteful practices. Municipalities will have to keep reporting their monthly water usage. With climate change threatening to make future droughts worse, Brown and others called on Californians to remain cautious about water usage.

“The next drought could be around the corner,” Brown said in a prepared statement.

Dry weather began in earnest in early 2012. It wasn’t until January 2014, with conditions worsening, that Brown declared a state of emergency and the drought officially began. Friday’s decision rescinds that declaration, as well as most drought-related executive orders he issued when the drought reached its zenith in 2015.

Brown lifted the drought order in every county except Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne, where the governor said emergency drinking water projects will continue to help communities where wells have gone dry. The state will also continue fighting the bark beetle outbreak that has killed millions of trees weakened by drought.

In practical terms, the lifting of the drought order will have little effect on most Californians. After imposing mandatory cutbacks of an average of 25 percent in 2015, the state went to a more relaxed system last spring that imposed no restrictions on urban water agencies that could show they had at least three years’ worth of water in reserve. The vast majority of urban agencies passed that test.

Local officials had pushed Brown to end the restrictions altogether, saying it was getting increasingly difficult to preach conservation as the rains pounded. Brown held off for months, however, and state officials said they were heartened that Californians by and large kept conserving water over the past year, even with the stiff mandatory curbs out of the way.

“We … have learned how much less we can use,” said Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board.

Even with Friday’s decision, California isn’t getting out of the conservation business. In response to an earlier order from Brown, five state agencies unveiled a long-range plan to rein in water use, called “Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life.” Among other things, the plan will require all 410 urban agencies to meet new targets, based on their local climates, land-use characteristics and other factors. The urban agencies would set the targets themselves, based on parameters set by the state.

Read more here:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article143321754.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Trump administration boosts Mojave Desert water project

Agriculture - California, California water, Dams other than Klamath

The Trump administration has removed a major roadblock to plans by a Santa Monica company to pump ancient groundwater from below the Mojave Desert and sell it to urban areas of Southern California.

The federal Bureau of Land Management has rescinded a 2015 administrative finding that Cadiz, Inc. needed to obtain a federal right of way permit and thus had to complete comprehensive environmental studies before it could build a water pipeline within 43 miles of railroad right of way owned by the Arizona & California Railroad.

The move follows a January decision by the Trump transition team to put Cadiz on a list of priority infrastructure projects, and a state appellate court’s rejection last year of a lawsuit filed by environmental groups challenging the project.

The $225 million Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project still needs approval from the powerful Metropolitan Water District to use the Colorado River Aqueduct to ferry the water to urban Southern California.

Cadiz company officials said in statement that they are pleased with the Trump administration’s decision. The statement said they have always believed “the BLM’s 2015 evaluation was contrary to law and policy.”

In 2008, Cadiz entered into a lease agreement with the railroad company to build a pipeline in between the wells it owns in the Mojave Desert area, west of Needles and south of Interstate 40, to the Colorado River, using the railroad’s right of way over federal land.

From the river area, the water could be ferried to urban Southern California using the aqueduct and reservoir system operated by the Metropolitan Water District.

“Our discussions are continuing about what would be required before they can put water in the Colorado River Aqueduct,” said water district spokesman Bob Muir.

In 2002, the water district’s board voted down an earlier version of the Cadiz project that also needed to use the aqueduct.

The project is staunchly opposed by environmental and desert advocates, who say it would rob the desert of the water that plants and wildlife need to survive.

“Many of the springs and seeps are going to dry up because of groundwater extraction,” said Ileene Anderson, a biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity.

She is particularly concerned that the pumping would harm the Mojave National Preserve and recently created Mojave Trails National Preserve.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement that the new administration was muscling through the project without proper reviews. Feinstein is an ardent desert supporter who authored the California Desert Protection Act that created the preserve and other protections more than 20 years ago.

“The Trump administration wants to open the door for a private company to exploit a natural desert aquifer and destroy pristine public land purely for profit,” her statement said.

“The administration is completely undermining federal oversight of railroad rights-of-way.“

http://www.dailynews.com/environment-and-nature/20170405/trump-administration-boosts-mojave-desert-water-project

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Oroville Dam fix to span two years, but some key work due before winter rains

Agriculture - California, California Rivers, California water, Dams other than Klamath

April 6, 2017

Sac Bee.com

Read more here:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article143200489.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Mighty L.A. water agency wants a share of Valley’s Sites Reservoir – and is willing to pay

Agriculture, Air, Climate & Weather, California water, Dams other than Klamath

Sac Bee.com

April 6, 2017

Southern California’s most powerful water agency is prepared to invest in Sacramento Valley’s proposed Sites Reservoir, a move that could broaden support for the $4.4 billion project but also raise alarms about a south state “water grab.”

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California would pour $1.5 million into pre-development work at Sites if Metropolitan’s board accepts a recommendation made by its executive staff Wednesday. The board plans to vote on the investment next Tuesday.

Metropolitan could increase its investment later in the project, which has the backing of Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration. That would entitle the Southern California agency to control as many as 50,000 acre-feet of storage once the reservoir gets built, according to the Metropolitan staff report. Sites, to be built at a remote location straddling the Glenn-Colusa county line, would be able to hold up to 1.8 million acre-feet.

Metropolitan’s interest “further shows the value of Sites Reservoir as a solution,” said Jim Watson, general manager of the Sites Project Joint Powers Authority.

Watson acknowledged that Metropolitan’s involvement could create backlash about Southern California siphoning more water from the Sacramento Valley. But he said Metropolitan wouldn’t get a seat on the reservoir’s governing board. By state law, the board must be made up of representatives of Sacramento Valley water agencies, he said.

The advocacy group Restore the Delta, however, said Metropolitan is simply angling to take more water from the north. “They are really coming in as an outside power to control that watershed…the Sacramento River watershed,” said the group’s director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla.

Proponents say Sites would improve water storage and the environment, making water available to improve conditions of endangered fish species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Sites would be California’s seventh largest reservoir, and the largest built in the state since New Melones opened on the Stanislaus River in 1979. It would be an “off-river” reservoir fed by an underground 14-mile pipeline from the Sacramento River.

Until now, Metropolitan has been hesitant to commit to Sites. General Manager Jeff Kightlinger, in an interview last November, said the reservoir would have little value for Metropolitan unless the state builds its controversial twin tunnels in the Delta. Metropolitan is one of the leading backers of the $15.5 billion tunnels plan, which is designed to re-engineer the troubled Delta and smooth the delivery of Northern California’s water to points south.

Metropolitan is signing on to help with planning work on Sites, including preparation of an application to the State Water Commission for funding from Proposition 1, the voter-approved water bond that has set aside $2.7 billion for reservoirs and other infrastructure. Sites backers are seeking up to $2.2 billion from in Proposition 1 money, or half the total cost.

Under Proposition 1 rules, the state would gain control of up to half of Sites’ water for environmental purposes if it subsidizes the reservoir with bond money.

Read more here:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article143081329.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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CA Natural Resources pushes, again, for control over Siskiyou rivers

California Rivers, California water, Klamath River & Dams, Salmon and fish, Scott River & Valley, Siskiyou County, State gov

PNP comment: Look at the out-of-area dictators, who want to tell Siskiyou County and its residents how we should live. — Editor Liz Bowen

Additional comment by Rex Cozallio, landowner below Irongate dam near Hornbrook, CA:

I was extremely agitated and disheartened to become aware of this proposition that would severely impact our region submitted in February by a non resident assemblywoman  out of GLENDALE, California ‘sponsored’ (paid for) by ‘Friends of the River’, and ‘supported’ by 23 more profiting ‘non-profits’ and NO OPPOSITION!  This relentless onslaught, mounting countless paid for attacks with the ever-expanding objective of effectively confiscating vested private and public property without compensation or  impacted regional input, must end.  Quickly and quietly shoved through lobbied ‘legislative process’, their obvious and successful theory is that a certain portion will sneak through before sufficient public awareness, further empowering the unelected policy-driven bureaucratic power base permitting public oppression and the further social/economic division of classes.  This ‘provision’ adds an incredible, ridiculous, and impossible-to-survive complete and unimpeded REWILDING of the affected regional rivers, particularly the Klamath, Scott, and Shasta.  It not only prescribes unrestricted ‘natural’ accretion and avulsion of riparian property, it discretionarily restricts ANY use of riparian areas within a QUARTER OF A MILE of EACH side of the rivers.

In searching for the legislation last night, the ONLY reference I could find that wasn’t an unrelated 2013 Bill of the same number, was the sponsoring ‘Friends of the River’ website.  A link within that led to the Assembly woman’s promotional page.  From multiple calls I found out the Bill I heard about last night is in Natural Resource committee ‘hearings’ TODAY.  The only other ‘opportunity’ to publically ‘respond’ will be at the next as yet unscheduled or posted Administrative/Budgetary hearing.

After talking to the ‘legislative analyst’ Michael Jered about the unnotified and most impacted regions in opposition, I was admonished on several fronts.  Unequivocally saying that failing to access the information was my and the local representatives’ fault since it was submitted in February, and that I should take up any complaints with them, he graciously allowed that I may write a letter of opposition which he could ‘place in the file’, even though it would not be acknowledged, but would be ‘available’ in the event someone ‘wanted to read it’.

He also said I could have certainly gone to Sacramento to testify to the Committee ‘if I wanted’, but of course that ‘would not be possible for today’ and any failure to go to legis.ca.gov to inform myself was ‘my problem’, and that is ‘just the way the process works’.

Telling him it did not show up on a search of that site, he assured me that it was there and I just wasn’t doing it right.  Insisting I was wrong, he went to the legis site and said ‘just look at the 2015-2016 legislation’,  at which point he hesitated and said ‘oh, I guess they haven’t posted the years legislation yet’ (in March, and this is the first he knew?).

If you wish to call him, his number is 916-319-2092, but it appears the only way to impact the progression now is to actively push to somehow track it AFTER it no doubt passes through Committee today, the point at which we would likely have been the most able to rescind.

All the Best,

Rex Cozzalio

 

CA ab975..please read time sensitive, hearing date March 20th

Date of Hearing: March 20, 2017

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES

Cristina Garcia, Chair

ABPCA Bill Id:AB 975 (

Author:Friedman) – As Introduced Ver:February 16, 2017

SUBJECT:  Natural resources:  wild and scenic rivers

SUMMARY:  Adds “historical, cultural, geological, ecological, hydrological (i.e., unique source, direction, or quantity of water flows), botanical or other values” to the values that certain rivers possess and the state should preserve.  Expands the area protected in the Wild and Scenic Rivers System (System) from immediately adjacent to the river segment to within a quarter mile of the river.

EXISTING LAW, pursuant to the California Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (Act):

  • Declares that it is the policy of the state that certain rivers that possess extraordinary scenic, recreational, fishery, or wildlife values be preserved in their “free-flowing” state, together with their immediate environments, for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of the state. Declares that such use of these rivers is the highest and most beneficial use and is a reasonable and beneficial use of water.

  • Defines “free-flowing” as existing or flowing without artificial impoundment, diversion, or other modification of the river. (The presence of low dams, diversion works, and other minor structures does not automatically bar a river’s inclusion within the System.)

  • Requires that those rivers or segments of rivers included in the System be classified as one of the following:

    1. Wild rivers, which are those rivers or segments of rivers that are free of impoundments and generally inaccessible except by trail, with watersheds or shorelines essentially primitive and waters unpolluted;

  1. Scenic rivers, which are those rivers or segments of rivers that are free of impoundments, with shorelines or watersheds still largely primitive and shorelines largely undeveloped but accessible in places by roads; or

  1. Recreational rivers, which are those rivers or segments of rivers that are readily accessible by road or railroad, may have some development along their shorelines, and may have undergone some impoundment or diversion in the past.

  • Designates several California rivers and segments thereof as components of the System.

  • Requires the Natural Resources Agency (NRA) to be responsible for coordinating the activities of state agencies whose activities affect the rivers in the System with those of other state, local, and federal agencies with jurisdiction over matters that may affect the rivers.

FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown

 

COMMENTS:

  • Author’s statement:

AB 975 brings the California Wild and Scenic Rivers System more in line with the federal system, improving state management of rivers that enjoy dual state-federal designation, and allowing for the protection of existing and future state rivers that possess additional values beyond those currently mentioned in the Act.

  • The Act. The Act was passed in 1972 to preserve designated rivers possessing extraordinary scenic, recreation, fishery, or wildlife values.  With its initial passage, the System protected segments of the Smith River and tributaries, Klamath River and tributaries, Scott River, Salmon River, Trinity River, Eel River, Van Duzen River, and American River.  The System was subsequently expanded by the Legislature to include the East Carson and West Walker Rivers in 1989, the South Yuba River in 1999, the Albion River and Gualala Rivers in 2003, and Cache Creek in 2005.  In addition, segments of the McCloud River, Deer Creek, and Mill Creek were protected under the Act in 1989 and 1995 respectively, although these segments were not formally designated as components of the System.

The Act provides a number of legal protections for rivers included within the System, beginning with the following legislative declaration:

It is the policy of the State of California that certain rivers which possess extraordinary scenic, recreational, fishery, or wildlife values shall be preserved in their free-flowing state, together with their immediate environments, for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of the state.  The Legislature declares that such use of these rivers is the highest and most beneficial use and is a reasonable and beneficial use of water within the meaning of Section 2 of Article X of the California Constitution.

The Act defines “free-flowing” as “existing or flowing without artificial impoundment, diversion, or other modification of the river.”  The existence of minor structures, or even major dams located upstream or downstream of a specific segment, does not preclude a river from designation.  Several rivers, such as the Klamath, Trinity, Eel, and Lower American, are included in the System despite substantial flow modifications by existing upstream dams and impoundments.

No dam, reservoir, diversion, or other water impoundment facility may be constructed on any river segment included in the System.  However, there are exemptions, which include temporary flood storage facilities on the Eel River and temporary recreational impoundments on river segments with a history of such impoundments.  NRA cannot authorize these temporary recreational impoundments without first making a number of findings.

A cornerstone of the Act is the non-degradation clause, which prohibits new projects and activities from adversely affecting the free-flowing condition and natural character of river segments included in the System.

The Act was patterned after the 1968 National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (Federal Act).  The state and federal Acts share similar criteria and definitions in regard to the purpose of protecting rivers, the identification of free flowing rivers and extraordinary or outstanding values suitable for protection, establishing a study process to include rivers in the system, as well as an identical classification system.  The primary purpose of both the state and federal Acts is to prohibit new water impoundments on designated rivers.

  • Consistency with the Federal Act. The state Act differs from the Federal Act in that it does not recognize as many river values.  The additional values in the Federal Act include historical, cultural, geologic, and “other similar” values.  Federal agencies have interpreted “similar” values to include ecological, botanical, and hydrological.  When NRA studied the East Carson and West Walker Rivers they found them to have extraordinary hydrological values.  However, that value is not in the Act.  AB 975 adds the additional values considered by Federal agencies, but it also adds “other” values.  This differs from the Federal Act because it is vague compared to “other similar” values.  The author and committee may wish to consider amending the bill to reflect the Federal Act by using “other similar” values.

The Federal Act also creates protections within a quarter mile of a river in the system.  The state Act defines immediate environments to be immediately adjacent to the river, and defines river to include up to the first line of permanently established riparian vegetation.  AB 975 would align the state Act with the Federal Act by defining immediate environments to include within quarter mile of segments of the river.  This change would have the effect of directing state and local governments to act in a manner that protects the additional immediate environment.  In addition, AB 975 would provide more consistent direction for rivers in the federal System that the state manages.

  • Previous legislation.

AB 142 (Bigelow), Chapter 661, Statutes of 2015, requires, prior to the designation of the Mokelumne River, the NRA to conduct a study analyzing the suitability or non-suitability of the Mokelumne River, its tributaries, or portions of the river for addition to the System.

SB 1199 (Hancock, 2014) would have designated a 37-mile portion of the Mokelumne River in Calaveras and Amador Counties in the Sierra Nevada as a wild and scenic river.  SB 1199 was held in the Assembly Appropriation Committee.

SB 904 (Chesbro), Chapter 545, Statutes of 2004, requires state agencies to protect the free-flowing character and extraordinary values of designated rivers and to clarify that Special Treatment Areas under the Forest Practices Rules are applied to rivers classified as recreational or scenic as well as those classified as wild.

REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:

Support

American Rivers
American Whitewater
Butte Environmental Council
California Water Impact Network
California Sportfishing Protection Alliance
California Outdoors
California Wilderness Coalition
CalTrout
Coast Action Group
Defenders of Wildlife
Foothill Conservancy
Friends of the Eel River

Friends of the River
KIER Associates
Merced River Conservation Committee
Natural Resources Defense Council
Northcoast Environmental Center
Northern California Council International Federation of Fly Fishers
North Fork American River Alliance
Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations
Sacramento River Preservation Trust
Safe Alternatives For Our Forest Environment
Sierra Club California
South Yuba River Citizens League

Two individuals

Opposition

None on file

Analysis Prepared by:   Michael Jarred / NAT. RES. /

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Many Central Valley farms to get full federal water supplies

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California water

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced full federal water allocations for at least some parts of the Central Valley, including the Friant Division, where many citrus growers went without water in 2014 and 2015.

Tim Hearden

Capital Press

Published on March 1, 2017 10:00AM

Last changed on March 1, 2017 12:00PM

Shasta Lake was 85 percent full and at 117 percent of its historical average as of Feb. 27. Full reservoirs and abundant snowpack have enabled the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to give full water allocations to many farmers in the Central Valley.

Tim Hearden/Capital Press

Shasta Lake was 85 percent full and at 117 percent of its historical average as of Feb. 27. Full reservoirs and abundant snowpack have enabled the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to give full water allocations to many farmers in the Central Valley.

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SACRAMENTO — Full reservoirs and an abundant snowpack have enabled the Central Valley Project to promise full allocations of water to many valley farms, federal officials announced Feb. 28.

Citrus growers in the eastern San Joaquin Valley’s Friant division will get 100 percent of their contracted supplies after most went without federal surface water in 2014 and 2015 and received 75 percent last year.

“We are extremely pleased with that announcement,” said Laura Brown, director of government affairs for the Exeter-based California Citrus Mutual. “We were expecting it with all the rain we’ve had.”

Among others promised their full supplies are customers of the Central San Joaquin Valley Conservation District and Stockton East Water District and urban customers in the Sacramento area and eastern San Francisco Bay area served by water from the American River.

Settlement contractors on the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers were told in mid-February they would get their full supplies based on the volume of inflow to Shasta Lake, officials said.

The agency will wait until mid-March to determine other allocations, including those for the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, which only received 5 percent last summer despite late-season storms that provided more water elsewhere.

Several factors will determine the remaining allocations, said Ron Milligan, a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation operations manager in Sacramento. They include the state Department of Water Resources’ third manual snowpack survey, which was set for March 1, as well as reservoir levels and hydrologic conditions, he said.

But Milligan and other federal officials acknowledged in a conference call with reporters that the delay is also partly caused by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s failure to complete its fisheries’ temperature management plan for Shasta Lake. The plan could require more water to be kept in the lake this summer to provide cold water for federally protected winter-run chinook salmon.

“Growers are making their planting decisions now,” said Ryan Jacobsen, the Fresno County Farm Bureau’s chief executive officer. “Farmers cannot make choices on what might be an allocation … They need real numbers.”

Jacobsen said Westside growers aren’t expecting a full allocation, which he said is “unacceptable” considering that snowpack levels in most areas are more than 150 percent of normal and outflow from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta has totaled more than 24 million acre-feet since October. Hundreds of thousands of acres on the Westside have been fallowed in recent years because of a lack of water.

But Pablo Arroyave, Reclamation’s acting Mid-Pacific regional director, said the lack of an allocation for the Westside now doesn’t mean the area won’t get water. He said the agency will take advantage of the current hydrology to try to get as much water as possible to districts.

A substantial amount of CVP water is already in storage south of the Delta, and federal share of the San Luis Reservoir west of Los Banos, Calif., is expected to be full within the first week of March, officials said.

Given the large snowpack and high river flows this year, much of the water already in storage will be available for delivery to CVP contractors this spring and summer, they said.

For the CVP overall, this was the first year of widespread 100 percent allocations for agriculture since 2006, officials said. The Friant Division’s supply comes as Millerton Lake near Fresno was at 82 percent of capacity and 126 percent of normal as of Feb. 27, prompting dam operators to boost releases to make room for a big anticipated snowmelt.

The full allocation applies to the division’s Class 1 customers, or the most senior landowners, while customers may take Class 2 supplies as long as the ramped-up releases from Millerton Lake continue, the bureau noted in a news release.

The bureau typically announces its initial allocations in mid-February, although it waited until April 1 last year to take into account anticipated storms in March while giving informal reports to water districts, spokesman Shane Hunt said at the time.

The 2016-17 water year has been “extreme” so far, prompting Reclamation to take “an approach to the announcement of CVP water allocations this year that differs from our historic practice,” Arroyave said. In future years, the agency will strive to release initial allocations for all water users in February, he said.

The State Water Project initially allocated 20 percent of contracted supplies in late November and has so far upped its anticipated deliveries to at least 60 percent of requested supplies. The last time the project’s 29 contracting agencies got their full allocations was in 2006.

http://www.capitalpress.com/California/20170301/many-central-valley-farms-to-get-full-federal-water-supplies

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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The Latest: California snowpack nearing record depths

Air, Climate & Weather, California water

 By The Associated Press

The Latest on California’s snowpack (all times local):

1:25 p.m.

California surveyors say the Sierra Nevada snowpack is close to setting records after five years of punishing drought.

Officials said Wednesday the snowpack’s water content measured at 185 percent of normal. A year ago, it was 84 percent of normal.

The snowpack is vital because it provides one-third of the state’s water to homes and farms when it melts in the spring and summer.

Frank Gehrke, the state’s chief snow surveyor, said the snowpack in some places is nearing levels last seen in 1983.

State climatologist Michael Anderson calls the current levels historic, especially in the central and southern Sierra Nevada, where double the normal amount of snow has fallen.

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http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/latest-california-snowpack-nearing-record-depths-45840258

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