The multipurpose aspect of many reservoir projects adds an extra layer of regulation to those projects–and gives government agencies and advocacy organizations additional opportunities to seek more water and other concessions from reservoir operators. That scenario is playing out in attempts to relicense California hydroelectric projects that also provide water supplies to farms, ranches and cities.
As the March rains loosen more Southern California mud and fill more Northern California reservoirs, the state still flirts with drought and we still run short of water. Los Angeles is engineered to hustle filthy storm water to sea as quickly as possible, as if it were the evil fluid of the primordial abyss, yet we spend millions to import precious snowmelt from the Sierras.
The Trinity River water that had sustained the Hupa people’s fishery and 10,000 year-old economy, culture and religion now supplies industrial agriculture with irrigation and hydropower. Westlands Water District uses the lion’s share of that water. Its demand for Trinity water is insatiable.
A major storm is bearing down on California and dairy industry experts are urging operators to keep cows out of harms way. Heavy rains and localized flooding could contribute to a potential increase in disease, a decline in milk production and storm water runoff.
While most of us recognize that we are already experiencing the effects of climate change, according to a 2017 Gallup poll, we just can’t imagine that, for instance, floods, mudslides, wildfires, biblical droughts and back-to-back Category 5 hurricanes are going to be a serious problem in our lifetimes. And we certainly don’t make the connection to the food on our plates, or to beef in particular.
Salvador Sevilla grasps a curved knife as he shimmies up a five-foot ladder to the crown of a date palm tree. He steps from the ladder onto two of the palm’s huge fronds and balances there, striking a pose you’re more likely to see on a Cirque du Soleil stage. On this afternoon, Sevilla is pollinating trees on a Coachella Valley farm.
Local tribes’ say critically important dam water releases meant to protect threatened salmon on the Klamath River from deadly parasitic disease outbreaks are being contested by irrigators and water districts in the Klamath Basin as they face drought conditions.
The proposal to raise the height of Shasta Dam is back on the table, with a 2019 federal budget request of $20 million for pre-construction and design work on the structure. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and several other water agencies in the state have been interested in raising the height of the dam for decades.
If you’ve been paying attention, the term farm-to-table, which refers to the idea of showcasing farm produce on your menu — and was coined by this paper’s own restaurant critic Jonathan Gold in a 2000 Gourmet article — is nothing new.
Look out, cowboy. Climate change campaigners are coming for your burger business. So are mushroom growers, Silicon Valley investors and the billionaire Bill Gates. … But the cattle industry is not going down without a fight.
The president might learn a thing or two about undocumented farmworkers and the urgent need for comprehensive immigration reform by watching, for example, peach picking on a sweltering summer day in the San Joaquin Valley.
The Trump administration is pushing forward with a colossal public works project in Northern California — heightening the towering Shasta Dam the equivalent of nearly two stories. The problem is that California is dead-set against the plan, and state law prohibits the 602-foot New Deal-era structure from getting any taller.
It’s obvious to anyone who visits an American supermarket in winter — past displays brimming with Chilean grapes, Mexican berries and Vietnamese dragon fruit — that foreign farms supply much of our produce.
At a meeting in Klamath Falls this afternoon [March 9], the Bureau of Reclamation provided a preliminary hydrology outlook to irrigators in the Klamath Basin. While the late start to the rainy season this year has delayed Reclamation’s ability to get a clear picture for the irrigation season, officials pledged to continue to provide as much information as possible as soon as possible heading into spring.
Arizona brewers are fighting drought by the draught. In March the state’s first barley malt house should open in the Verde River Valley, supplying a key beer ingredient grown with water pulled from an overworked river that is crucial to metro Phoenix’s water supply.
The annual ritual of cleaning acequias, typically before the start of spring, remains alive in communities big and small, from Chama to Alcalde and Gallina to Sombrillo. But the practice has evolved and adapted as times have changed, from a lack of interest in farming to the purchase of agricultural lands by newcomers who don’t participate in the yearly cleanup.
If there is one thing that motivates many volunteer environmentalists to keep on plugging away, it is the outrage we feel when we bump into an atrocious scheme like this one: Five years ago, Kern County took $14.3 million from a solar developer to help preserve farmland and the threatened Swainson’s hawk, and it has been trying to absorb these millions into its general fund without doing the mitigation.
After banning the sale and cultivation of recreational marijuana in Shasta County last year, county officials now want to close a loophole in state law they say could allow firms and institutions to grow cannabis under the guise of conducting industrial hemp research.
There’s no doubt members of the State Water Resources Control Board don’t want to hear another word about their water grab from farmers, elected leaders, economists, irrigation districts or especially newspaper columnists. But how about some of the state’s most respected scientists? How about the “Delta Watermaster”?