From The Modesto Bee, in a commentary by Dorothy Leland:
“Now more than ever, it is critical to consider the full scope of water’s significance – economic, geologic, political, socioeconomic and more – and the urgent need to make its conservation and management a top priority in our thirsty state.
From the California Department of Water Resources (DWR):
“DWR’s Romero Overlook Visitors Center has reopened after a three-week refurbishment project. The center – a popular highway stop that features educational exhibits about the State Water Project — overlooks San Luis Reservoir, the nation’s largest off-stream reservoir.”
“California schools facing temporary closures, or increased numbers of absences due to the drought, can breathe a sigh of relief following an announcement Wednesday that the state won’t punish districts when budget time comes around later this year.”
“About 1,000 people jammed into the rodeo grounds Tuesday near the San Joaquin River, roaring approval for politicians and farm leaders who criticized Sacramento’s handling of California’s water crisis.
“A few hours later in Sacramento, state water leaders made a change in the drought emergency orders issued earlier this year to assure farmers they would be able to get whatever water becomes available.”
“Quietly whirring away in a dusty field in the Central Valley is a shiny solar energy machine that may someday solve many of California’s water problems.
“It’s called the WaterFX solar thermal desalination plant, and it has been turning salty, contaminated irrigation runoff into ultra-pure liquid for nearly a year for the Panoche Water and Drainage District.”
“We may be in the midst of drought, but the state this month is launching what will likely be a controversial study of Delta levees — specifically, which ones should receive public funds to make them more resilient in the face of future floods.
“Officials want to prioritize the levees to determine which ones get the money, and, by extension, which of the low-lying agricultural islands protected by those levees are most important.”
“After 37 years at the forefront of West Side water issues, Bill Harrison stepped down as general manager of the Del Puerto and West Stanislaus Water Districts Feb. 28. In his place, Anthea Hansen will take over as general manager of the water districts.”
From the Visalia Times-Delta, in a commentary by J. Paul Hendrix:
“Tulare Irrigation District has proposed a new reservoir at McKay Point, near Lemon Cove and Woodlake, to provide new water storage, flood control and more efficient distribution of water for agriculture.
“The McKay Point project, proposed to be located north of the separation of the Kaweah and St.
“State water cops approved rules Wednesday that will result in higher costs for thousands of San Joaquin County farmers, with the goal of reducing polluted runoff draining into already degraded streams.
“The unanimous vote by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board formalizes what have been described as the most significant new rules many farmers will have ever seen.”
“President Barack Obama’s lead adviser on water and wildlife toured the enormous south Delta export pumps Tuesday, examining the roaring, 22,500-horsepower pumps before cautioning that no one would receive all the water they need this year.
“U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell told reporters that state and federal governments will have to be flexible to make the best use of a limited amount of water.”
“A state water official said Thursday that despite the ‘horrifying’ drought gripping the state, there’s still a chance that farmers will get San Joaquin River water this summer instead of the ‘zero allocation’ announced.”
“A court ruling issued Wednesday could throw up obstacles to operation of a Kern County groundwater bank that has helped billionaire Stewart Resnick build a nut empire in the southern San Joaquin Valley.”