Aquafornia news Ag Alert weekly newspaper, California Farm Bureau Federation

March storms bring small improvement

In the space of two to three weeks, California farmers have had to switch from shirtsleeves to parkas to rain gear. That last one at least offered a glimmer of hope for what has been a gloomy 2018 water season so far.

Aquafornia news Lodi News-Sentinel

Groundwater district explores irrigation options

The proposed South System Groundwater Improvement Project, an $18.75 million plan that would have pumped pressurized surface water from the Mokelumne River along seven miles of new pipeline to Bear Creek and Pixley Slough, allowing farmers to irrigate their crops with surface water instead of depleting groundwater, according to NSJWCD [North San Joaquin Water Conservation District] President Joe Valente.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

States to begin surveys for lesser-prairie chicken

Wildlife managers in several states will begin surveys later this month to track the population of a grouse that has been the focus of an ongoing legal battle over whether it warrants federal protection.

Aquafornia news Northern California Water Association

Blog: Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman

In her book Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman, Miriam Horn has painted a fascinating and compelling picture of the amazing conservation work that is being done out on the landscape by the landowners and other stewards who are making a living from the land, while working equally hard to preserve it for future generations. … We encourage you to either read this excellent book or watch the film by the same name.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Kansas farmers cut Ogallala water use — and still make money

Five years ago, a band of farmers in northwest Kansas decided that pumping prodigious volumes of water from the Ogallala Aquifer was a path to ruin. The vast Ogallala, an underground reserve stretching from South Dakota to Texas, was shrinking.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

To feed the nation, California farmers must adapt to a warming climate, study says

Heat waves, droughts and floods are climate trends that will force California farmers to change some practices — including what they grow — to continue producing yields that historically have fed people nationwide, a new study by the University of California says.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

New Release: San Joaquin River Restoration flows’ recapture allowed for Friant Division farmers

The Bureau of Reclamation has signed a finding of no significant impact for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program’s plan to recapture a portion of the 2018 San Joaquin River Restoration Flows at Patterson and/or Banta-Carbona irrigation districts though Feb. 28, 2019. The project involves recapturing Restoration Flows and conveying them via the Delta-Mendota Canal to San Luis Reservoir; they are then available for recirculation to the Friant Division long-term contractors.

Aquafornia news GV Wire

Commentary: Come 2050, Californians will wish they had more dams

A new University of California report forecasts kick-to-the-gut climate-change realities for California farmers, especially those who grow permanent crops in the Central Valley. In a nutshell, the report anticipates big trouble ahead for crops such as almonds, peaches, table grapes, corn and rice.

Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

Sites Authority officials appeal project’s initial score

Sites Project Authority officials recently appealed the California Water Commission’s initial public benefit score in hopes of improving their pitch for a chunk of the $2.7 billion in available Proposition 1 funding for state water storage projects.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Commentary: Bees are actually farmers’ best friends, and vice versa

The arrival of the bees means the almond bloom is near. As an almond farmer, this is when everything starts over. It’s what I [Christine Gemperle] call the promise of spring. As beautiful and inspiring as it sounds, it also comes with plenty of questions, uncertainties and risks. Will it rain on the blossoms?

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio NPR for Central California

Scientists’ newest tool to fight agricultural toxin: a video game

One of the newest puzzles involves aflatoxin, a family of carcinogens that contaminate crops around the globe and lead to serious health problems. In Foldit’s Aflatoxin Challenge, players try to fold a protein into a shape that’ll break down the aflatoxin molecule into something harmless.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

California agriculture at risk due to climate change, scientists say

Over the past decade, California farmers have been seeing symptoms of climate change in their fields and orchards: less winter chill, crops blooming earlier, more heat waves and years of drought when the state baked in record temperatures. Scientists say California agriculture will face much bigger and more severe impacts due to climate change in the coming decades.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Q&A: How much snow next winter? It may not remain a mystery much longer.

If we had known a year ago that this winter would be so dry, would we have conserved water more aggressively last summer? Would ski resorts have installed more snowmaking equipment? Would farmers buy different seeds to plant this spring?

Aquafornia news Associated Press

US considers protected status for wild spring Chinook

Federal fisheries officials said Tuesday they will consider putting the Pacific Northwest’s once-flourishing wild spring-run Chinook salmon on the list of threatened or endangered species. The National Marine Fisheries Services plans a 12-month review on whether to give protected status to the salmon in and around the Klamath River.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

See a bounty of San Joaquin Valley crops on farm visits during Central Valley Tour; Act now — our March 14-16 water tour is almost sold out!

The San Joaquin Valley, known as the nation’s breadbasket, is one of the nation’s most productive agricultural regions. During our three-day Central Valley Tour, March 14-16, 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 rivers, dams, reservoirs and groundwater wells that provide the water.

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies

Special screening of ‘Beyond the Brink’ to be held March 14 in Sacramento

The film, titled “Beyond the Brink,” focuses on California’s San Joaquin Valley and the difficulties faced by farmers due to water scarcity and drought. The film also provides a vision for a path forward, exploring efforts already underway to shift our course. A special screening of the film is being sponsored by Clean Water and Jobs for California and presented in partnership with ACWA on March 14 in Sacramento.

Aquafornia news Northern California Water Association

Blog: Conjunctive use supports sustainable groundwater in South Sutter County

Conjunctive use is the practice of using surface water in conjunction with ground water to meet water demands. South Sutter Water District was formed to provide surface water for irrigation to help meet the increasing demand on ground water to irrigate crops in South Sutter County.

Aquafornia news KALW, local public radio, San Francisco

The water and agricultural empire of Stewart and Lynda Resnick (audio)

On this edition of Your Call’s One Planet Series, we’ll discuss water in California. Award winning journalist Marx Arax has written a lengthy piece in the California Sunday Magazine about Stewart Resnick, one of most powerful farmers in the US, and the largest single water user in the Western United States.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Arrests may hold up feds’ deal to settle with water district over runoff disaster

The manager of a San Joaquin Valley water district seen as a model for how to manage toxic agricultural runoff was jailed last week in Fresno on charges of embezzlement and burying 86 drums of toxic waste on the water district’s property.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Commentary: The next big front in California’s water war

After one year of torrential respite, drought may have returned to California, and with it, a renewal of the state’s perpetual conflict over water management. State and federal water systems have told farmers not to expect more than a fifth of their paper allocations, the state Water Resources Control Board is weighing a new regime of mandatory conservation, and supporters of more reservoirs are complaining about the glacial pace of spending $2.7 billion set aside in a water bond for more storage.