Aquafornia news Stockton Record

‘Normal’ never better at New Melones, the last major reservoir to recover from drought

Stubborn New Melones Lake finally decided to join the party. New Melones this week topped 100 percent of normal, the last of California’s major reservoirs to climb out of the deep drought hole.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California storms leave local farmers reeling

Over the past three months, a shockingly abundant rainy season has provided Northern California with much needed relief after an epic drought, but for small farms, the accompanying flooding and other headaches have proven there can be too much of a good thing.

Aquafornia news KPBS Public Broadcasting, San Diego

How increased immigration enforcement could impact San Diego County farms (with audio)

Farms across the country, including those in San Diego County, rely on laborers who are in the country illegally.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Sutter County farmer takes precautions following Oroville Dam emergency

Fruit and nut growers in California are watching the weather, their trees and the volume of standing water in their orchards this week.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Central Valley dairy farmers plot Plan B in case of flooding (with audio)

Milton O’ Haire is Stanislaus County Agricultural Commissioner. He’s keeping an eye on the 100-year flood plain along the San Joaquin River and the Tuolumne River.

Aquafornia news PBS NewsHour

President Trump promised California farmers he would ’start opening up the water.’ Can he?

Last May, Donald Trump stood in an arena full of farmers from California’s desiccated Central Valley and said words many yearned to hear: “If I win, believe me, we’re going to start opening up the water.”

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Court supports order to divert water to support salmon

The federal government can redirect water from a Northern California dam to prevent mass die-offs of salmon in drought years, water that otherwise would be shipped to Central Valley farmers, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

‘Flood fighting is in our DNA’: To live by the Feather River is to know its power and danger

The early settlers snatched up the rich, loamy land along the Feather River to grow grapes and orchards. Edward Mathews, an Irishman who fled the potato famine, was peddling vegetables and didn’t have the cash for that kind of soil.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Water concerns arise from Napa area vineyard’s plan to fell 14,000 oaks

In the small community of Circle Oaks, California, a few miles east of the wine-soaked Napa Valley, residents are fuming over a wealthy Texas couple’s plans to cut down 14,000 adult oak trees and replant the cleared woodland with 209 acres (85 hectares) of irrigated grapevines. The project, opponents warn, will destroy fish and wildlife habitat, reduce the environment’s resilience to climate change, and drain groundwater reserves.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Commentary: How food companies can help drive agricultural water conservation

Last week I [Kirsten James] was a guest on an “inspection” trip of the Colorado River Aqueduct, the engineering marvel that delivers up to 1 billion gallons (3.8 billion liters) of water daily to Southern California from the Colorado River hundreds of miles to the east. Organized by the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California, these inspections are a relic of an old piece of administrative code.

Aquafornia news Fresno Bee

A broken levee in Tulare County is flooding miles of farmland

A broken levee in southern Tulare County near Alpaugh has flooded several square miles of farmland and two or three mobile homes are reportedly affected.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Questions swirl around scope of federal probe into California water districts

A reported federal investigation that’s stalled part of a California irrigation-drainage deal does not extend to the small San Luis Water District in western Fresno and Merced counties, a top district official said Wednesday.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

See a bounty of crops on farm visits and from the bus window

The San Joaquin Valley, known as the nation’s breadbasket, is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the United States. During our three-day Central Valley water tour, you will meet farmers who will explain how they prepare the fields, irrigate their crops and harvest the produce that helps feed the world. We will also drive through hundreds of miles of farmland and visit the sources of the water – rivers, dams and wells.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: In the Central Valley, drought fears ease, but farmers contend with a new threat: Trump

It’s almost impossible to get a rise from my favorite farmer, Joe Del Bosque, who grows almonds, melons and asparagus here on the perpetually water-challenged west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: The Oroville Dam disaster is yet another example of California’s decline

A year ago, politicians and experts were predicting a near-permanent statewide drought, a “new normal” desert climate. The most vivid example of how wrong they were is that California’s majestic Oroville Dam is currently in danger of spillway failure in a season of record snow and rainfall.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wine exports set record, led by California labels

U.S. exports of wine — the bulk of it from California — set a record in 2016 despite having to fight a strong dollar, subsidies and barriers in other countries and a tight water and labor supply at home, according to the Wine Institute.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Mendocino County winery seeks new life as marijuana operation

The birthplace of the Fetzer family’s wine dynasty is poised for a new life as a commercial cannabis operation, a deal that shows just how far California’s new marijuana businesses have emerged as a rival to the North Coast’s famed wine industry.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

California farmers hope Congress and Trump team can deliver irrigation drain deal

The political terrain appears favorable for a mega-million-dollar irrigation drainage deal, with Congress still fully in Republican hands and California’s sprawling Westlands Water District with influential allies. But there are complications.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Emergency work starts on levee repair downstream from Oroville Dam

Emergency work on a levee at the confluence of the Feather and Sacramento rivers started Monday, with officials hoping to prevent damage.

Aquafornia news POLITICO

Growers and workers alike worried about immigration raids

In Salinas Valley, one of the country’s richest and most productive agricultural regions, President Donald Trump’s repeated threats to act against “sanctuary” policies and to deport undocumented immigrants has already created chilling uncertainty in a region dubbed the “Salad Bowl of the World.” The valley produces two-thirds of the nation’s lettuce and more than half of its broccoli.