In this episode of “Deeply Talks,” Tara Lohan, the managing editor of Water Deeply, discusses emerging water markets in California with Maurice Hall, the associate vice president of water for the Ecosystems Program at the Environmental Defense Fund, and Michael Kiparsky, the director of the Wheeler Water Institute at the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at the University of California, Berkeley.
The state of California is asserting landownership rights along a proposed pipeline’s path that would help carry groundwater from a remote part of the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County to Orange County and other communities.
A state commission is throwing a new hurdle in front of Cadiz Inc.’s plans to turn a remote desert valley into a lucrative water source for Southern California. In a Sept. 20 letter to Cadiz, the State Lands Commission informed the company that its proposed water pipeline crosses a strip of state-owned land and therefore requires a state lease.
One of the worst droughts in state history is pushing water prices to record levels — fraying nerves, eroding bank accounts and stress-testing the state’s “water market,” an informal and largely hidden network of buyers and sellers.
The Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources have scheduled a negotiation session with seven Cross Valley Contractors on long-term conveyance contracts for the delivery of federal Central Valley Project water conveyed through state-owned facilities.
“Redding is looking to transfer some of its water to the parched Bella Vista Water District. A proposal to provide up to 1,200 acre-feet over the summer makes its way to the Redding City Council Tuesday night.”
“A lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal District Court for the Eastern District of California against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, stating a proposed package of San Luis and Delta Mendota Water Authority transfers require a full environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act.”
From The Sacramento Bee, in a commentary by Mariel Garza:
“[Ken] Tucker stood before the Merced County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday pleading with the five officials and his fellow farmers not to try to stop a controversial water transfer deal that will ship groundwater from Merced County across the county line north to farmers in Stanislaus.”
“A federal appeals court says environmental reviews were properly done on the nation’s largest farm-to-city water transfer, the latest ruling to uphold a 2003 agreement on how California agencies divide that state’s share of Colorado River water.”
“The fight for water during the drought pitted Merced County farmers from opposite sides of the county against one another in an emotional and lengthy Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday. At issue was a controversial contract allowing two private landowners in Merced County to sell up to 23,000-acre feet of groundwater to Stanislaus County.”