Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

California farmers, politicians won’t feel full impact of Trump tariff wars until fall

David Phippen’s almond orchards in Manteca are a few months away from harvest, the nuts still green on the trees. That gives him some breathing room before China’s tariffs on almonds — California’s largest agricultural export — and other crops really bite.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Could West Sacramento be forced to pay up if river floods? Mayor and residents disagree.

The West Sacramento City Council voted 4-1 last month to begin a process that would convert an independent district in charge of levee management into a subsidiary of West Sacramento, and allow the council to replace the district’s board of directors with appointees or the council members themselves. Reclamation District 900 has operated independently since 1911, managing 13.6 miles of levees that provide flood protection along the Sacramento River.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Rancher faces 35 counts in animal cruelty case involving hundreds of dead cows

The Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against local rancher Ray Christie earlier this week, including seven felony counts of animal cruelty and 28 misdemeanors related to placing carcasses too close to state waters in violation of state Fish and Game regulations.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Former Oakdale Irrigation District member refused to take part in FPPC investigation

State election law enforcers recommend a $16,000 penalty against former Oakdale Irrigation District board member Al Bairos for violating campaign finance requirements and failing to cooperate with investigators.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Senate panel OKs farm bill, but House wants work provisions

The legislation, approved by a bipartisan 20-1 vote, would renew farm safety-net programs such as subsidies for crop insurance, farm credit, and land conservation. It also would extend the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, widely known as food stamps, which helps feed more than 40 million people.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Groundwater overpumping boosts arsenic in California aquifer

In California’s agricultural heartland, the San Joaquin Valley, excessive pumping of groundwater has resulted in subsidence, damaging crucial infrastructure, including roads, bridges and water conveyance.

Aquafornia news Arizona Daily Star

CAP kills purchase of rural land, water rights for suburban Tucson-Phoenix growth

The agency that operates the CAP must look elsewhere for water for future suburban growth, now that it’s killed a proposed $34 million deal to buy land and water rights in rural Mohave County along the Colorado River. Officials of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District aren’t ruling out the possibility of trying to acquire water rights from Mohave or other rural areas on a shorter-term basis.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Los Gatos’ last walnut orchard slated for demolition

The North 40 site is about to be cleared of its abundance of trees to make way for the construction of 320 homes and 66,000 square feet of commercial and retail space. … As for the trees, an arborist recently determined that 30 to 35 of them are healthy enough that they are now being offered to Los Gatos residential and commercial property owners.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News

Judge tells feds to be on time with review of water project

A judge denied a request Thursday by a federal water management agency for more time to evaluate the environmental impacts of California’s water transfer program that allows some water rights holders to sell water to parched farms in the southern part of the state.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Commentary: In Berry Country, California farmers get innovative to save groundwater

Driscoll’s [Berries] and its farmers don’t leave much to chance, having weathered drought conditions through much of this decade. And now they’re working on the next big challenge – implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and working to recharge the aquifer through a water recycling program.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Farm bill targets food stamps — but not well-off farmers who have been on the dole for decades

As more than a million Americans face losing food stamps under President Trump’s vision for reauthorizing the farm bill, his vow to wean families off dependence doesn’t apply to thousands of others who have been relying much of their adult lives on payments from the government’s sprawling agriculture program.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Measure to restrict Napa County vineyards too close to call

A ballot measure to limit further vineyard development in Napa County to preserve oak trees and water sources was ahead by just 40 votes Tuesday, with 99 percent of precincts counted.

Aquafornia news Ag Alert, California Farm Bureau Federation

Klamath farmers fear midseason water shutoff

Tough decisions about whether to plant crops have faced farmers and ranchers within the Klamath Water Project. They have little guarantee they will receive enough water to finish the season—and continuing legal action could shut off water this summer. “What’s frustrating is the roller coaster; we don’t know where we’re at from one week to the next,” said farmer Scott Seus of Tulelake.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Overpumping of Central Valley groundwater has side effect: too much arsenic

The many wells that nourish the farms of the Central Valley are not only pumping so much water from the ground that the land is sinking, they’re creating a dangerous vacuum where arsenic can slip in, new research shows. Scientists at Stanford University are warning if heavy groundwater pumping continues, water supplies for dozens of communities as well as billions of dollars of irrigated crops are at risk of contamination.

Aquafornia news The Bakersfield Californian

Oil producer renews legal challenge to Kern’s ’split-estate’ farmland rules

A renewed legal challenge is targeting Kern County’s 2015 regulatory attempt to resolve certain property disputes between local oil producers and farmers. Oilman Ken Hunter has requested a new trial for his claim that a county zoning ordinance gives surface property owners an unconstitutional advantage over those with underlying mineral rights.

Aquafornia news Herald and News, Klamath Falls

Water, federal aid enroute to Klamath Project

Water orders have been trickling in to the [Klamath Irrigation] district since irrigation water delivery officially began Friday, and calls are anticipated to ramp up as the water does, with ditch-riders like [Mitchell] Brown there to deliver the water.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Irregular weather leaves desert grape season lighter than usual so far

As Coachella Valley residents have enjoyed a cooler-than-usual spring, local grape growers and farmworkers have been warily watching the mercury. It takes heat to ripen and sweeten grapes but aside from a six-day streak of triple-digit heat in early May, it hasn’t been hot enough on the desert floor for some varieties to mature.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Recycled wastewater now flowing to San Joaquin Valley farms, wildlife

Wastewater recycling doesn’t have to be a fancy affair. Sometimes it can be as simple as building a pipeline. That is more or less the full description of the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Project. Only a year after starting construction, at a cost of around $90 million, the project is already delivering recycled urban wastewater to farms and wildlife refuges in California’s San Joaquin Valley, providing a reliable new water supply to a drought-plagued region.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

With water supply drastically reduced, San Pedro farm sees its ‘old country’ crops wither

The community garden — thought to be the oldest in Los Angeles — grew quietly and off the grid, with unlimited water and little oversight. But now, in a time of drought, it faces an existential crisis after the city drastically cut its water supply.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: 360,000 Californians have unsafe drinking water. Are you one of them?

An estimated 360,000 Californians are served by water systems with unsafe drinking water, according to a McClatchy analysis of data compiled by the State Water Resources Control Board. … Now, after years of half solutions, the state is considering its most comprehensive actions to date. Gov. Jerry Brown has asked the Legislature to enact a statewide tax on drinking water to fix wells and treatment systems in distressed communities.