“California’s drought has sparked a new push by federal lawmakers to create or expand a handful of reservoirs around the state, ramping up a political battle that former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger once referred to as a ‘holy war in some ways.’
“Government agencies have been studying five major water storage projects for nearly two decades, with nothing to show for the effort so far.”
“Thanks to seniority, powerful Central Valley irrigation districts that most Californians have never heard of are at the head of the line for vast amounts of water, even at the expense of the environment and the rest of the state.
“The list of the water-rich includes the Glenn-Colusa, Oakdale, South San Joaquin and Turlock districts.”
“A huge shift away from annual crops to nut trees has transformed the California farm belt over the past two decades and left farmers perilously vulnerable to the severe drought that is currently gripping the state.”
“With 2013 the driest year on record and 2014 possibly worse, the devastation of California’s drought is trickling down to crops, fields, farmers markets, grocery stores — and Marin residents’ kitchen tables.”
“While the average single-family home in the East Bay Municipal Utility District used 135 gallons of water per person per day last year, Elizabeth Dougherty got by with just 30 gallons. The lowest she’s hit: 20 gallons a day.”
From The Sacramento Bee, in a commentary by David Mas Masumoto:
“In this drought year, it’s my only hope. Yet I can’t see it, hear it or feel it. It lies hidden deep beneath my farm. Without it, my farm and my neighbors go thirsty. All my senses focus on groundwater.”
From the Northern California Water Association (NCWA) Blog, in a post by Todd Manley:
“In water short years, increased attention is paid to how much water is used in the state, where it is used, and for what purposes. Many different numbers are used to describe water use in the state among generalized water users (environmental, agricultural and urban).
“As California’s historic drought worsens by the day, Silicon Valley’s main water provider faces a difficult choice: Risk catastrophic flooding if a major earthquake strikes its largest dam — or drain billions of gallons of water from the reservoir behind it to make repairs.”
“A robust export market, strong consumer demand and increased production will benefit several of the San Joaquin Valley’s major crops even as California farmers struggle through a historic drought, said several agriculture industry leaders Thursday.
“The state Department of Water Resources doesn’t list a series of thresholds that, once crossed, mean we are in a drought. Instead, state officials consider drought a gradual phenomenon that affects different people in different locations in different ways.”