Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Cabernet sauvignon, petite sirah grapes most threatened by wine country fires

Fire is tearing through a region that produces some of the world’s priciest wines. The Atlas, Tubbs and other devastating wildfires roaring through parts of Northern California have taken aim at the world-renowned vineyards and wineries of Napa and Sonoma counties, thrusting a multibillion-dollar industry into chaos.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: California rice famers prevent floods and help wildlife

Last winter’s heavy rains were a welcome relief for Central Valley farmers after years of drought. But the high water that came with them also made it clear that we must upgrade the flood control system designed to protect people, farms and cities from catastrophic flooding.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Farms, fish and water fun—and $159 million—in Don Pedro Reservoir plan

The owners of Don Pedro Reservoir made their pitch Tuesday for how it can serve both people and Tuolumne River fish over the next half-century. The boards of the Modesto and Turlock irrigation districts each voted 5-0 at separate meetings to submit their final application for a new federal license for the project.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California wildfires destroying pot farms just before legal sales begin

The Northern California wildfires this week have destroyed at least seven marijuana farms just months before the state begins licensing legal sales of cannabis, making it the “worst year on record” for loss of crops, an industry leader said Tuesday.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Wine country fires ravage Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino wineries

A dull red sun rose over the Signorello Estate in Napa Valley on Tuesday, casting pale shadows over the stone building now reduced to smoldering rubble. A downed oak tree, its interior still burning with hot, red flames, lay over several rows of vines, their purple fruit coated in ash.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Despite some opposition from Los Angeles, giant Southern California water agency approves Delta tunnels project

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s board voted to pay for about a quarter of the tunnels project, Gov. Jerry Brown’s $17.1 billion effort to re-engineer the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and improve water deliveries to south state cities and farms.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

Bottled CBD-water company opens distribution office in South Lake Tahoe

The presence of non-psychoactive, hemp-derived cannabinoid oils, pills, lotions, dog treats and more is growing since the Agricultural Act of 2014 was signed into law. … The Farm Bill paved the way for companies like Quantum CBD H2O, which just opened up its West Coast distribution office in South Lake Tahoe, to start producing its CBD bottled water.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

As labor scarcity grows, high-end vineyards embrace machine harvest

It’s a crisp September night at Clockspring Vineyards in Plymouth, in the Shenandoah Valley region of Amador County. Tension is in the air. Owners Kathy and Frank Alviso are about to witness a machine harvest of organic Zinfandel grapes in their vineyard.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Sonoma, Napa wineries hit hard by Wine Country fires

As massive fires continued to burn in the epicenter of the U.S. wine industry Monday, Napa and Sonoma vintners braced to confront the long-term consequences of a disastrous event that could affect the supply of grapes, the quality of the region’s wines and the local tourism industries for years to come.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Farmers use peak river flows to recharge groundwater, fight drought (video)

Grower Don Cameron explains how flooding fields will replace drip irrigation and help restore the flood plain to its natural state.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Westside farmer who puts his fields underwater is named Agriculturist of the Year

An innovative west Fresno County farmer, who has become a leader in replenishing groundwater supplies, has been named the Fresno Chamber of Commerce’s Agriculturist of the Year.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Wildfires spurred by October’s warmth and winds in California

October is a month that’s primed to ignite, with high temperatures, shifting seasonal winds and tinder dry conditions — the ingredients that set off a series of firestorms in the Wine Country.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Project will supply farmers with treated water from kitchen and bathroom drains (video)

Work is well under way on a project that will provide West Side farmers with highly treated water from sewage treatment plants in Modesto and Turlock.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Trump official says government won’t stand in the way of removing Klamath dams

After the Obama administration helped broker a deal last year to tear down four dams straddling the California-Oregon border, practically everyone involved figured President Donald Trump would undermine it. They assumed Trump would side with conservative activists and Republican congressmen who thwarted an earlier version of the same agreement in 2015.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: California farm exports help agriculture, but at what cost?

In California, water is a public trust resource, meaning it belongs to the people of the state. … While it could be argued that food grown in California for Californians is a beneficial use of our water, it’s harder to make that case for crops exported overseas for the benefit of a few farmers – often corporations – at the expense of other water needs.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

One of the largest seasonal gatherings of tundra swans is coming to a rice field near you

Local farmers once again have teamed up with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to offer free swan tours to the public. Exploring privately owned rice fields and restored habitat just north of town [Marysville], the tours are held on Saturdays and run November through mid-January.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Report: 2015 Agricultural Water Management Plans and Implementation of Efficient Water Management Practices Report

DWR has released a legislative report on the agricultural water management plans submitted in 2015. The report provides details on efficient water management practices implementation. There is also information on the submitted plans and recommendations for improvements.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Environment is big winner in U.S.–Mexico Colorado River agreement

A newly signed pact between Mexico and the United States is believed to be the first time that two nations have agreed to allocate part of a shared water resource to the environment. Farmers and cities in both countries will reap benefits from Minute 323, an update to an existing agreement that seeks to sustainably manage the water of the overburdened Colorado River basin.

Aquafornia news Arizona Daily Star

Commentary: Water talks an opportunity to help Arizona, Colorado River Indian Tribes

Because of Arizona’s ongoing drought challenges and a continuous surge in population growth, our [Colorado River Indian Tribes] Tribal Council has been in discussions with water agencies, water managers and water users in Arizona about the drought, how we might provide leased water to benefit the people in Arizona — including in the Tucson area — and at the same time create economic sustainability for our people.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Open Farm Tours looks to educate people about sustainable agriculture

For one day only, Sunday, Oct. 8, there is an opportunity to explore 10 local farms — all within a few miles of each other. The free Open Farm Tours, in its fourth year, includes farm-hosted special activities.