Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

San Joaquin Valley fruit, nut farmers fear fallout from Chinese tariffs on agriculture products

Central San Joaquin Valley farmers are hoping negotiations between the U.S. and China can head off the potential economic effects of new tariffs imposed by China on a wide range of agricultural products imported from California.

Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

Peach pioneer comes back to life at Marysville cemetery

The Marysville City Cemetery is one of the oldest city-owned cemeteries west of the Mississippi River and the final resting place of nearly 10,000 people, including stagecoach robber Black Bart and a few Donner Party survivors. But one pioneer who helped increase the area’s economy in the 1900s has been resting in an unmarked grave for over a century.

Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

Initiative aims to redistribute Yuba County groundwater wealth

If at first you don’t succeed… get elected to the agency that denied you in the first place and try again. At least, that was the plan for Charlie Mathews, a Yuba County rice farmer and board member for the Yuba County Water Agency, who plans to reintroduce an initiative that would essentially redistribute proceeds made by pumpers for groundwater substitution transfers to other parts of the county, including a portion to residents. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

20 years later, Mexican wolf program frustrates all sides

The costly effort to return Mexican wolves to the American Southwest and Mexico has been fraught with frustration, as ranchers push back over livestock kills by the predators and environmentalists warn of returning to the brink of extinction if more wolves aren’t released into the wild.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

This year’s avocado crop going to be big

As many may already know, avocados are what is known in the farming world as an alternate-bearing crop. That means, one year the tree produces a smaller amount of fruit while the next year it produces a larger crop.

Aquafornia news California Institute for Water Resources, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources

Blog: Celebrating 60 years of water resources research and extension at the University of California

Doug Parker is the director of the California Institute for Water Resources and Strategic Initiative Leader for UC Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Water Quality, Quantity, and Security Strategic Initiative. I [Faith Kearns] interviewed him as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the water institute.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern California

California wine, nuts and fruit stand to lose in a Trump trade war with China

On Friday, China’s Commerce Ministry announced plans to impose a 15 percent tariff on U.S. exports of wine, nut products and dried and fresh fruit in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum, which the Trump administration formally began the process of initiating last week.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Southern California might foot the bill for Delta tunnels project — with no promise of reimbursement

Southern California’s biggest water agency is considering picking up most of the bill for overhauling the state’s waterworks without any guarantee that it will eventually recoup its additional, multibillion-dollar investment. At a board workshop Tuesday, officials of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California outlined ways in which the agency could finance the construction of two giant water tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

US land managers designate grazing projects in 6 Western states

The goal is to let land managers and livestock operators respond to changing range conditions such as wildfires, high moisture years or drought to weigh economics and ecology with wildlife habitat.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

By going vegan, America could feed an additional 390 million people, study suggests

If U.S. farmers took all the land currently devoted to raising cattle, pigs and chickens and used it to grow plants instead, they could sustain more than twice as many people as they do now, according to a report published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Feds eye scaling back antiparasite Klamath dam releases

In an attempt to meet the needs of Klamath Basin irrigators and endangered fish species in the basin in a time of drought, a federal agency is proposing to reduce the amount of dam water releases to the Klamath River that are meant to protect threatened Coho salmon from deadly parasite outbreaks like those that occurred in 2014 and 2015.

Aquafornia news Oceans Deeply

Report: Offshore fish farms could thrive in California

In the clear waters several miles offshore of Huntington Beach, California, a 40-hectare (100-acre) cluster of shellfish rafts will yield its first commercial harvest this spring. Phil Cruver, founder of Catalina Sea Ranch, says seafood wholesalers have lined up to buy what he expects will be 680,000kg (1.5 million lb) of mussels.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Farmers on Coachella Valley Water District board unfairly keeping water rates low, critics charge

The Coachella Valley Water District’s board is considering raising the rates it charges farmers, golf courses and other well owners based on how much groundwater they pump. That upcoming decision has brought criticism of the stark, longstanding difference between the relatively low rates paid by well owners in the east valley, including the area’s farmers, and the much higher rates for well owners in the cities of the west valley. 

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

How ‘Miracle March’ is going to make Oakdale Irrigation District $10 million richer

The Oakdale Irrigation District will sell up to $10 million worth of river water to outside buyers this year, board members decided this week on a 3-2 vote. Board members Linda Santos and Gail Altieri dissented because OID hasn’t studied how shipping water elsewhere might affect the local groundwater table.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Commentary: Westlands’ water rights bill is poison for taxpayers

San Joaquin Valley Congressmen are pushing legislation that could be one of the largest transfers of water rights in California history. House Resolution 1769 by Rep. David Valadao, currently stalled in committee, purports to settle a legal dispute between Westlands Water District and the U.S. Dept. of the Interior over the development of a drainage system to funnel toxic waste water from Westside farms.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: I’m a fourth-generation California farmer. My research is one reason to support UC.

A fourth-generation California rice grower, I [Telha H. Rehman] was able to go to a world-class university and pursue an advanced degree, thanks to California’s system of public higher education. Now a graduate student at UC Davis, I’m developing sustainable farm practices that will help rice growers like my family do our job better, produce more food for Californians with less environmental impact and save farmers money.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Reclamation updates 2018 Central Valley Project water allocations for North of Delta and Friant contractors

The Bureau of Reclamation today [March 22] provided an initial allocation to some Central Valley Project contractors and increased the allocation to Friant Division contractors for the 2018 contract year. For agricultural water service contractors north of the Delta, Reclamation provided an initial allocation of 20 percent. Municipal and industrial service contractors north of the Delta, in-Delta and on the American River are allocated the greater of 70 percent of their historic use or public health and safety needs.

Aquafornia news Mojave Valley Daily News

Legal battle could grant Central Arizona Project sovereign immunity

An obscure legal battle could have a major impact on Mohave County’s fight to keep part of mainstem Colorado River water allocation within the boundaries of the Mohave Valley Irrigation and Drainage District. Central Arizona Water Conservation District recently filed a motion requesting Arizona District Court vacate a judgment from 2015 that concluded CAWCD is not an arm of the state and not entitled to sovereign immunity under the 11th Amendment.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Commentary: The ‘Johnny Oliveseed’ of Stockton

“I’ve gone to the backwoods of Calaveras, and you’re in the middle of nowhere, and you’re in a stand of olive trees where nobody has been for decades,” said Sal Manna, who co-authored a book, “Olives in California’s Gold Country.” Why is the Mother Lode full of scattered olive trees? Henry H. Moore of Stockton is the reason.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California farm district drops water lawsuit, aiming to settle dispute

Last year, farmers who lead the irrigation district in Blythe sued the biggest urban water district in the country to challenge what they called a “water grab.” Now the Palo Verde Irrigation District has dropped that lawsuit, looking to smooth the way toward a possible settlement with the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.