Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

Editorial: We Can’t Afford to Run Dry

From The Modesto Bee:

“Tell your neighbor you’re drilling a new well and you might start a fight. Tell a farmer that he or she can’t drill that well, and that fight is guaranteed. …

“As these well-financed farming operations drill and pump, a great many small landowners (farmers or not) are in jeopardy. If they go dry, they’ll likely sue and we’ll be in another water war.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Editorial: Celebrate Almonds, While Recognizing Water Issues

From The Sacramento Bee:

“Almonds are a great California success story. California’s 6,000 almond growers produce about 80 percent of the world’s almonds and all of the almonds sold in the United States. …

“But the party, alas, may not last, despite world demand. Water is a limiting factor.”

Read more from The Sacramento Bee


Aquafornia news Fresno Bee

Editorial: Don’t Delay Farm Bill Again

From The Fresno Bee:

“Another year has gone by without Congress passing a new five-year farm bill.

“The House and Senate are no closer to a deal to ensure a farm and food safety net than they were at this time a year ago.”

Read more from The Fresno Bee



Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

After Floods, Some Colorado Rivers Aren’t Where They Used to Be

From Capital Public Radio:

“The historic Colorado floods actually changed the course of some rivers and creeks. That has left many agricultural irrigation ditches and diversion dams useless. Farmers and irrigation companies now find themselves footing the bill to reroute these waterways before spring planting season.”

Read more from Capital Public Radio, or listen to the story


Aquafornia news

Commentary: Reports Rain on Farmers in Winter

From The Salinas Californian, in a commentary by Norm Groot:

“As we close out the year here in the Salinas Valley, you have probably noticed that many of the fields that were once green with vegetables and lettuce are now bare dirt, carefully tilled and furrowed. … So, you wonder, what do farmers do when their fields are not producing products for our hungry nation? …

“There is a lot of regulatory compliance that continues for farming operations.

Aquafornia news Imperial Valley Press

Imperial Irrigation District’s Dippy Duck Changes Message Delivery

From the Imperial Valley Press:

The IID [Imperial Irrigation District] launched a safety program in 1959 to instill in children a sense of fear and respect of the Valley’s canals.

“The program is based on a cartoon mascot named Dippy Duck. The district reinforces the idea that canals are dangerous through presentations each spring in preschools and elementary schools.

Aquafornia news

Commentary: Water is the Value that Runs Farming

From The Modesto Bee, in a commentary by Leonard Van Elderen:

“The financing of a farm is tied squarely to the land. The land has value that allows the lender to provide the loans. That value comes from the land’s ability to grow the crops. And that requires water.

“Water is an emerging concern for Central Valley agriculture on several fronts. There is the current short-term crisis for many farmers due to the lack of rain and snow.

Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

Farmers, Lenders Talk About Modesto Risks, Rewards

From The Modesto Bee:

“The general strength of farming was a key theme at the second annual California Food & Ag Summit at the DoubleTree Hotel. But speakers also noted the state’s water issues, including a drought now in its third year and a shortage of reservoir space when the big storms do come.”

Read more from The Modesto Bee


Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

A Rancher And A Conservationist Forge An Unlikely Alliance

From Capital Public Radio:

“Scientists suspect that warming air and rivers, as well as smaller winter snowpack, is endangering western trout. But on a ranch in Montana, methods to protect trout from the effects of cattle ranching are helping the trout become more resilient to the inevitable change in their environment.”

Read more from Capital Public Radio


Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources (DWR)

DWR Spotlight: New CIMIS Trailer

From the California Department of Water Resources (DWR):

“With the new California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) trailer in West Sacramento, DWR employees now have a better station for repairing sensors used to gather information for California’s agricultural lands, golf courses and other landscapes.

“CIMIS was created in 1982 by the California Department of Water Resources and the University of California at Davis to provide reference evapotranspiration (ETo) estimates to irrigators.”

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Aquafornia news Associated Press

Farm Bill Could Hide Farm Locations From Public

From the Associated Press:

“Parts of the nation’s $500 billion farm bill that Congress is considering would prohibit the government from disclosing some information about farmers or their employees, possibly preventing people from learning about nearby agricultural and large-scale livestock operations blamed for polluting water or soil.”

Read more from AP


Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

Officials Concerned Restrictions May Apply to Water Action Plan

From the Appeal-Democrat:

“Potential water conservation requirements on agriculture would be a ‘non-starter’ to implement the draft California Water Action Plan, one Sutter County official said on Friday.

“Nothing about the plan is final yet, and no definitive statement about the plan’s effect on agricultural water supply can be made, said Richard Stapler, spokesman for the California Natural Resource Agency, one of three state agencies that authored the plan.”

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Aquafornia news

Commentary: Ag Offers First-Hand Knowledge of Itself

From the Salinas Californian, in a commentary by Jim Bogart:

“I have briefed readers of this column about the many complex issues confronting agriculture — farm labor availability and immigration reform, food safety, water quality, crop protection, worker safety, and labor and employment law compliance are just a few that come immediately to mind.
Aquafornia news

Commentary: A News-Making March for Water, Told on Film

From The Bakersfield Californian, in a commentary by Lois Henry:

“Water can be such a complex issue that most people would rather not be bothered. For filmmaker Juan Carlos Oseguera, water became impossible to ignore as he watched family, friends and whole communities suffer from political decisions made about water decades ago and thousands of miles away.
Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

EPA Report Examines Water’s Importance to U.S. Economy

From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):

“A new informational report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency details just how important water is to the U.S. economy.

“Synthesizing recent studies on the topic, ‘The Importance of Water to the U.S. Economy’ report released this week finds that energy production, water supply and food production together account for over 94% of water withdrawals from the nation’s groundwater, streams, rivers, and lakes.

Aquafornia news

Commentary: Unreliable Water Supplies Cripple Farming

From The Fresno Bee, in a commentary by Chris Hurd:

“‘Everything comes at some cost.’ This statement certainly resonates with people like me who live and work on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

“We have disproportionately borne the costs associated with actions under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to protect fish species that occupy the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.”

Read more from The Fresno Bee

Aquafornia news Imperial Valley Press

IID Board Approves Water Apportionment Plan for 2014

From the Imperial Valley Press:

“The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors approved on Monday an apportionment plan that allocates water to Imperial Valley farmland in a way that blends a field’s historical water consumption with an equal ’straight-line’ allocation.”

Read more from the Imperial Valley Press


Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Orange County Strawberry Farmers Adapt to Survive

From the Orange County Register:

“It’s the start of the planting season for strawberries, a dwindling crop in an increasingly urbanized county. … The persistence of local strawberry fields is explained in part by simple economics: Consumers are willing to pay a higher price for a pound of berries than, say, a pound of oranges.
Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Salmon Thrive In Yolo Bypass Experiment

From Capital Public Radio:

“Scientists say their experiment of putting young salmon into flooded rice fields is a success. …

“The experiment took place in the Yolo Bypass, which diverts floodwaters from Sacramento.”

Read more from Capital Public Radio, or listen to the story



Aquafornia news Associated Press

Crop of High-Tech Farmers Sows Results With Apps

From the Associated Press:

“A new cyber tool that helps map crops and monitor irrigation systems came to life after a University of Vermont researcher realized farmers just weren’t very good at keeping records. …

“Noticing that farmers had grown accustomed to carrying cellphones, whether in the field, on tractors or in the barn, she [Heather Darby, an agronomist from the University of Vermont Extension] developed the goCrop Web and mobile app. The project was awarded about $400,000 from the U.S.