One of the nation’s most successful partnerships between farm and urban water agencies has lately run into serious turbulence, potentially threatening an important Colorado River water-sharing deal. Twelve years ago, the Palo Verde Irrigation District in Blythe, California, signed an agreement with the powerful Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
When strong winter rains finally ended the recent five-year drought, many water districts seized the opportunity to recharge depleted aquifers. How did they do, and what barriers did they face? A public forum brought more than 30 experts together to discuss the benefits, opportunities, and barriers to groundwater recharge. The event was hosted by the California State Board of Food and Agriculture and the state Department of Water Resources.
Water in the American Southwest has never been abundant. Its availability fluctuates depending on conditions like drought and mountain snowpack that feeds streams and rivers. But experts predict a future of greater extremes: longer and hotter heat waves in the summer, less precipitation, decreased snowpack, and more severe and frequent droughts that will place greater stress on water users.
The State Board of Food and Agriculture today [Nov. 8] held a public forum on “Managed Groundwater Recharge to Support Sustainable Water Management.” The purpose of the forum was to identify benefits, opportunities and barriers; gather momentum; and expand the implementation of managed groundwater recharge projects at all scales on agricultural lands and working landscapes for flood rick reduction, drought preparedness, and aquifer and ecosystem restoration.
Recent extreme weather events – drought, fires, storms, and mudslides – are a stark reminder of the effects climate change already has on California. … California’s agricultural industry, a bedrock of our economy, is uniquely poised to slash emissions by using renewable energy to power farms.
The state finds itself in an improved water-supply position going into the 2017-18 winter, thanks to the precipitation and snowpack the previous winter that filled reservoirs, topped rivers, replenished aquifers and flooded land. “We’re much better than we were last year, and extraordinarily better than we were two years ago at this time, and that is definitely good news for the urban and agricultural regions of the state,” said Doug Carlson, a spokesman for the California Department of Water Resources.
Two months after the heat wave that killed at least six Bay Area residents and sent the mercury to 107 degrees in San Rafael and 106 in San Francisco — an all-time record — brewers around the world are thinking about climate change. … Others are simply worried about ingredient supplies.
We’d been hearing that in addition to its reputation for hiking, cycling, fishing, rafting and drinking beer, Butte County is positioning itself as one more Northern California wine region worth visiting. … What they share is passion, energy and an abiding confidence that Butte County’s volcanic soils, abundant water and even more abundant sunshine and heat will provide the foundation for an eventually flourishing wine culture.
California regulators on Tuesday approved a plan to spend nearly $400 million over 10 years to slow the shrinking of the state’s largest lake, a vital migratory stop for birds and a buffer against swirling dust in farming towns. Funding for the Salton Sea is unclear but the plan enjoyed support of major water agencies and environmental advocacy groups and preserves a fragile peace among urban and rural areas in California on distributing the state’s share of Colorado River water.
On a Monday morning, just a few hours after the most devastating wildfire in California history bore down from Calistoga into the northern edges of Santa Rosa, local apiarist Dewitt Barker received a text from his friend Susy Finzell. She’d had to flee her house in the middle of the night. The house was gone. Most likely, his 25 bee colonies had perished too.
As a teenager, Ola Braanaas kept a few fish in an aquarium in his bedroom. Now, at 55, he keeps a lot more of them: around 1.2 million just in one windswept spot off the stunning coast of Norway, a giant farm with six large, circular structures each containing around 200,000 fish.
On October 17, the California State Water Resources Control Board adopted new environmental policies to regulate how marijuana growing operations will impact California’s already limited water resources. … Cannabis cultivation can impact local water by reducing flows in streams and creeks or polluting waterways with pesticides and other agricultural chemicals.
California Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers asked the U.S. government Friday for $7.4 billion to help rebuild after a cluster of fires tore through the heart of wine country, killing more than 40 people and leaving thousands without housing.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue heard two main messages from farmers in Sunday’s visit to Modesto — keep export barriers down and lighten up on regulation. President Donald Trump’s top farm official heard concerns also about labor and water supplies in a question-and-answer session at the Modesto Junior College West Campus.
The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture stopped at a Madera farm Sunday evening as part of his two-day stop in California, where Sonny Perdue talked about helping young people in the farming industry and about the challenges farmers in California face. … Perdue was joined congressmen Jim Costa and Jimmy Panetta.
Droughts. Soaking winters. Heat waves. Wildfires. The last several years have whipsawed West Coast winemakers such as David Graves, who produces that oh-so-delicate of varietals, pinot noir. It is also prompting vintners to ponder whether climate change — once seen as distant concern — is already visiting their vineyards.