On a split vote, irrigation leaders on Tuesday ratified nearly $1 million in payments to farmers who volunteered to fallow land two years ago, even though the program fell apart in the face of a lawsuit. Before the On-Farm Conservation program failed, the Oakdale Irrigation District entered into 59 contracts with growers willing to idle some land in return for money from outside buyers of freed-up water.
Recent water tests at Isabella Lake suggests toxicity from blue-green algae poses much less of a public health threat than it did in early summer. But for local residents and business owners, the issue remains a point of contention.
Kern apparently retained its title as the nation’s top-grossing farming county as a report released Tuesday showed its 2017 agricultural bounty surpassed 2016’s total by 1 percent despite declines in the value of locally produced almonds and pistachios.
California’s system of dams and canals is made of equal parts concrete and injustice. Injustice is baked into the system, which unfairly burdens Stockton and the Delta. A “vast and powerful” constituency of Delta water exporters — the south-valley water districts of Big Ag, southland urban consumers — likes it that way. Their latest baby, the California WaterFix, is more of the same.
The city’s wastewater treatment facility is set to get a huge face-lift in the coming years. A draft environmental impact report for the Regional Wastewater Control Facility Modifications project has been prepared, and the city of Stockton will hold a public meeting on Sept. 24 to review it.
California’s proposal to construct two massive tunnels underneath the Delta northwest of the city to divert Sacramento River water south would “devastate” Stockton and other communities in and around the Delta, especially what a new report refers to as “environmental justice communities” that often have been ignored in the discussion around the tunnels.
Highlighting successful collaboration to improve water supply management, two John W. Keys, III awards were presented at the 3rd biennial San Joaquin River Restoration Program Science Meeting held in Sacramento, August 22 and 23. Keeping with the meeting theme “Collaborating for the Future,” the Keys Award recipients were recognized for their joint efforts at implementing new, 21st century runoff forecasting tools for the San Joaquin watershed.
A $15,000 reward is being offered for information on the July shooting death of an endangered California condor on remote private property in Kern County. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had offered a $5,000 reward when it issued a news release about the case Monday, and the Center for Biological Diversity tripled the award amount later in the day.
Sarah Woolf, a member of one of Fresno County’s most prominent farming families and a longtime agriculture advocate, has abruptly resigned from the board of the Westlands Water District. Woolf turned in her letter of resignation last week as the tension between she and the district’s general manager, Tom Birmingham, reached a breaking point.
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today [Sept. 7] lowered a warning advisory that had been in effect since August 23 at San Luis Reservoir in Merced County. Water contact is now allowed, but DWR urges all recreational users to exercise caution and avoid direct contact with blue-green algae. DWR lowered the advisory from warning to caution level after detecting a reduced amount of microcystins for a second consecutive week at San Luis Reservoir.
Prominent Valley grower and water-management consultant Sarah Woolf has resigned from the board of directors at Westlands Water District. In a letter sent to the district, Woolf cited differences with the board majority on how best to increase water supplies for district growers as a primary reason for her resignation.
This time of year, May Vu’s farm in Sanger should be carpeted with blooming flowers and a bounty of vegetables. But a failing irrigation pump and a nearly empty well have dried up Vu’s farm and with it, her source of income.
A state official confirmed Friday that a potentially toxic form of blue-green algae is blooming in the San Joaquin River. It’s unknown whether this is the same algae greening up the waterfront area only a few miles away.
If 200-year flood protection isn’t secured — or at least a financial and implementation plan in place by July 1, 2016 — development of the Great Wolf Resort and family entertainment zone, The Trails at Manteca, and other residential projects in southwest Manteca won’t take place.