As we continue forging ahead in 2018 with our online version of Western Water after 40 years as a print magazine, we turned our attention to a topic that also got its start this year: recreational marijuana as a legal use.
For decades, cannabis has been grown in California – hidden away in forested groves or surreptitiously harvested under the glare of high-intensity indoor lamps in suburban tract homes. In the past 20 years, however, cannabis — known more widely as marijuana – has been moving from being a criminal activity to gaining legitimacy as one of the hundreds of cash crops in the state’s $46 billion-dollar agriculture industry, first legalized for medicinal purposes and this year for recreational use.
The North Yuba Water District announced its approximately 119 irrigation customers will not receive deliveries this year due to a lack of available water – in the form of snowpack – and a faulty conveyance system. General Manager Jeffrey Maupin said the district must first ensure its approximately 800 domestic customers receive potable water before irrigation needs can be met.
Sometime after Tim Pelican arrived at work Monday, a farmer stopped by to deliver a package to San Joaquin County’s agricultural commissioner. The farmer’s package contained a dead nutria, a 2½–foot-long, 20-pound beast that looks like a beaver but is smaller and has a round, ratlike tail and white whiskers.
According to a new report in the journal PLOS One, we Americans wasted just over 25% of our food between 2007 and 2014. … Each year, just short of 4.2 trillion gallons of water were used to produce all this uneaten food. That includes nearly 1.3 trillion gallons of water to grow uneaten fruits and 1 trillion gallons of water to grow uneaten vegetables.
I [Steve Lopez] went to Coachella and had a swell time, although I overindulged a bit. But it’s not what you think. I went to explore the valley beyond the world-famous music festival, and I ate too many dates.
The waterfowl at Ellis Lake are about to get a diet that’s a little less foul. Four gumball-style machines, to be filled with free rice, are slated to be installed at Ellis Lake near 9th and D streets as early as June as a way of encouraging people to feed the birds a healthier diet and keep the lake in good shape.
The Tehama County Department of Agriculture requested a declaration of disaster Monday from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services after the almond crop damage report showed a 40 percent loss. … While the request focuses on almonds, the prune harvest may also be a concern, though data is still needed.
In 2007, at Jeff Creque’s behest, John Wick got in touch with Whendee Silver, an ecologist at the University of California, Berkeley. Letting cows graze on his property had certainly made the land look healthier, he told Silver. But he and Creque wanted to know: Had it put carbon in the ground? And if so, was it possible to measure how much?
Every five years, a bipartisan farm bill is passed by Congress that impacts people nationwide and right here at home. On Thursday, a draft of the legislation was released by the House Agriculture Committee. While the bill is welcomed by many, some called it a betrayal to rural families.
In water management, it’s normal to zero in on one’s local geography and not think about the larger system – especially when state lines carve up a watershed. Thus, faced with a terrible snowpack year on the Rio Grande, we’re having three largely separate conversations about agricultural water management on the U.S. part of the Rio Grande: The San Luis Valley (the headwaters valley in Colorado) The “Middle Rio Grande” (that stretch through Albuquerque where I live) The “Lower Rio Grande” – New Mexico south of Elephant Butte Reservoir, plus El Paso County in Texas
Congress and the Trump administration are pushing ahead with a plan to raise a towering symbol of dam-building’s 20th century heyday to meet the water demands of 21st century California — a project backed by San Joaquin Valley growers but opposed by state officials, defenders of a protected river and an American Indian tribe whose sacred sites would be swamped.
CAP [Central Arizona Project] water, which comes from the Colorado River, will be less available to farmers in Central Arizona in the future. There are a few reasons for that. The first is the threat of a Lake Mead water shortage, which will be declared if the lake falls below 1,075 feet in elevation.
A federal judge heard arguments from attorneys representing Klamath Basin tribes, irrigators and government agencies on Wednesday in a case that is challenging the need for dam water releases meant to protect threatened fish species on the Klamath River from deadly parasitic outbreaks like those that occurred in 2014 and 2015.
Within California’s almond industry, the sufficiency of water and its efficient use is a constant area of focus. After all, almond trees are permanent crops which cannot survive without water year to year, a fact exacerbated in periods of drought.
With reservoirs at or above average storage levels and the Sierra Nevada snowpack improved by storms in March and early April, farmers await word from federal and state water agencies about whether water allocations might improve. During a winter in which the snowpack reached only about half of average levels, both the federal Central Valley Project and the State Water Project told most of their agricultural customers to expect 20 percent water allocations this year.
A plan to pipe treated wastewater from Tijuana to the Guadalupe Valley is being championed by authorities who say the project not only would support the state’s wine-growing region, but also solve another problem: reducing the flow to the overburdened San Antonio de los Buenos coastal sewage treatment plant.
As my trees got sprayed with pesticide as a preventative measure, I thought about this Sisyphean effort to save our citrus. … How much of our life here is equally precarious, reliant on foundations that can quickly fail? Our water supply depends on a shrinking snowpack, antiquated aqueducts and reservoirs, and a Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta constantly under attack from brackish waters.
San Diego may not have a local supply chain for its marijuana dispensaries as quickly as expected because of rigorous city environmental approvals and other regulatory hurdles facing indoor pot farms and factories for edible products. The 65 applicants seeking to open such businesses in San Diego are facing requirements for studies of their energy use, water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in order to gauge their compliance with the city’s climate action plan.
The 2 p.m. court hearing on Wednesday at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco will be overseen by William Orrick. Orrick’s ruling will potentially decide factors leading to a start date — or not — for [Klamath] Basin irrigators, in a lawsuit between Bureau of Reclamation vs. Yurok and Hoopa Tribes.