Aquafornia news Aspen Journalism

New water agreement for Crystal River could open door to boost Colorado rivers

There is a new way to put water back in Colorado’s parched rivers. After more than a year of back and forth with Pitkin County officials, the nonprofit Colorado Water Trust announced Tuesday a pilot agreement with a Carbondale rancher to increase streamflows in the Crystal River during dry years.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: How Trump’s pumping plan is dividing California over water – again

Nothing sharpens the political divide in California like a fight over water. Just before New Year’s, the U.S. Bureau of Administration announced it would try to “maximize water deliveries” to the agricultural districts that belong to the federal government’s Central Valley Project.

Aquafornia news Environmental Defense Fund

Blog: 7 lessons from a California water leader on managing for the future

David Guy is president of the Northern California Water Association (NCWA), an organization committed to ensuring that water supplies are available for the Sacramento Valley — both for today’s users and for future generations. “The Sacramento Valley is a rich mosaic of farmlands, cities, rural communities, refuges, managed wetlands and meandering rivers,” David said.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

California Growers Association sues state, seeks 1-acre marijuana grow cap

California’s largest cannabis farmer organization has filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s decision to not limit marijuana farmers to 1 acre.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Farming wetlands to grow birds

California has lost 95% of its natural wetlands. Managing what’s left is complicated by inadequate water and infrastructure. We talked to Ric Ortega, general manager for the Grassland Water District in the San Joaquin Valley, on what is needed to maintain wetlands in this difficult environment.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Congress misses deadline to approve west-side water fix, but deal not unraveling yet

A key deadline has passed to solve the irrigation drainage problem that caused massive bird deaths and deformities at Kesterson wildlife refuge. But a Westlands Water District official said Congress is still on track to pass legislation benefiting both the district, which delivers water to farms over an area the size of Rhode Island, and the federal government.

Aquafornia news Ag Alert, California Farm Bureau Federation

Wildfires affect water-test requirements

In response to a request from agricultural and trade associations, state water officials have given partial regulatory relief to wineries and breweries in areas hit by Northern California wildfires. The action involves required stormwater sampling, which may be affected by ash and debris resulting from the fires.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Commentary: Teaching farming and creating goodwill in Senegal

Anywhere in the world, a large farm is not a simple place. Good farmers must master the operation of huge machines like tractors and harvesters, complex systems like drip-irrigation and the use of pesticides and fertilizers. … It’s difficult enough in the Central Valley of California. It’s tougher in Senegal.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio NPR for Central California

‘Westlands: A Water Story’ takes an artistic look at San Joaquin Valley agriculture

California’s mammoth feats of water engineering in the 20th century turned the barren west side of the San Joaquin Valley into the most productive farmland in the world.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

A ‘floating fillet’: Rice farmers grow bugs to help restore California’s salmon

The project is called the Fish Food on Floodplain Farm Fields Project. It’s part of a greater effort to restore threatened fish species — the Sacramento Valley Salmon Recovery Program. The project comes at a key time: A recent UC Davis study suggests that winter run chinook salmon could go extinct if efforts to recover the species aren’t taken up.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Meeting seeks input on fed’s water delivery plan

A meeting in Chico has been scheduled for Thursday to take input on a Trump Administration plan to maximize water deliveries from the federal Central Valley Project. The project, which dates to the 1930s, consists of 18 dams and reservoirs and 500 miles of canals that primarily deliver water to farms and cities in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Central Valley Tour offers unique view of San Joaquin Valley’s big dams and reservoirs

Get a unique view of the San Joaquin Valley’s big dams and reservoirs that store and transport water on our March Central Valley Tour. Our Central Valley Tour, March 14-16, offers a broad view of water issues in the San Joaquin Valley. In addition to the farms, orchards, critical habitat for threatened bird populations, flood bypasses and a national wildlife refuge, we visit some of California’s major water infrastructure projects.

Aquafornia news KQED

Ag industry fights pesticide penalties and state efforts to increase future fines

Several produce and farm labor contractors are contesting fines they face in connection with two separate pesticide drifts in the Central Valley that sickened close to 130 agricultural workers last year.

Aquafornia news The Conversation

Healthy to eat, unhealthy to grow: Strawberries embody the contradictions of California agriculture

Agricultural abundance is a pillar of the California dream. In 2016 the state turned out more than US$45 billion worth of meat, milk and crops. Long before nutritionists agreed that fresh fruits and vegetables should be the center of American diets, California farmers had planted much of their land in these products, and today they produce half of the nation’s fruits, vegetables and nuts.

Aquafornia news Lodi News-Sentinel

North San Joaquin water official explains upcoming groundwater project

Joe Valente’s gray Chevrolet pickup truck drove down Tretheway Road in Lodi on Friday afternoon as the president of the North San Joaquin Water Conservation District Board of Directors pointed out large concrete cylinders, known as stand pumps, that provide air to a seven-mile pipeline stretching from the Mokelumne River to Pixley Creek Slough.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Pot project prompts drinking water contamination concerns

The governing board for Humboldt County’s main water supplier is set to decide Wednesday whether to appeal the construction of a Glendale cannabis edibles and concentrates manufacturing facility that would be located near one of its drinking water pumps on the Mad River.

Aquafornia news Ag Alert, California Farm Bureau Federation

Mudslides add to farm losses in south state

The deadly mudslide that hit Santa Barbara County last week, which left part of Montecito in ruins, caused agricultural damage in the Carpinteria Valley. The valley, described as the “flower basket of the world” by the California Cut Flower Commission, hosts about two dozen growers.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California governor considers one-tunnel water plan

Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is proposing scaling back his troubled plans to redo California’s water system, releasing a new plan that would build only one tunnel to ship water from Northern California instead of two, and put Southern and central California water agencies directly in charge of designing and building it.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

State moves step closer to downsizing Delta tunnels project

California officials have moved closer to scaling back the troubled Delta tunnels project, officially notifying potential construction contractors that they’re considering limiting the project to one tunnel.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Reclamation changes schedule, adds additional public meetings on efforts to maximize Central Valley Project deliveries

The Bureau of Reclamation has added an additional meeting and postponed a meeting to give the public more time and more opportunities to provide comments as it prepares an environmental impact statement for Revisions to the Coordinated Long-term Operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project, and Related Facilities. … A meeting scheduled for Jan. 16, 2018, in Los Banos has been postponed a week to give the public more time to prepare and attend the meeting.