Is the era of Dam-building over? Backers of several major projects say it shouldn’t be.

This tranquil ranching valley lies 15 miles west of the Sacramento River. A one-lane bridge spans a dried-up creek at the valley entrance. But when Jeff Sutton stands there, he imagines water, lots of it. Never mind that talk of flooding the Antelope Valley north of Sacramento and turning it into a reservoir is older … Continue reading “Is the era of Dam-building over? Backers of several major projects say it shouldn’t be.”

Public Meetings on New Water Measurement Law

To All, WOW! This could prove to be beneficial for efforts to improve flows. Chris The purpose of this message is to provide information about a new water measurement law which will affect water right holders and diverters who divert more than 10 acre-feet of water per year.   The law includes a new reporting requirement … Continue reading “Public Meetings on New Water Measurement Law”

Summary: Groundwater Adjudication Reform

October 12, 2015 Groundwater Act Blog Prior to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), the primary method for solving groundwater disputes and protecting groundwater basins was litigation. When over-pumping led to a crisis like seawater intrusion or chronic overdraft, people had little choice but to file a massive lawsuit—called an adjudication—in which all rights to … Continue reading “Summary: Groundwater Adjudication Reform”

Will Parrish Comment on Glyphosate

Dear friends in Napa/Sonoma: In March 2015, the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France ruled that the broad-spectrum systemic herbicide glyphosate — the active ingredient in Round-Up — is a likely carcinogen. Studies have linked the herbicide, which is widely used in agribusiness to control weeds, to … Continue reading “Will Parrish Comment on Glyphosate”

Coho vs. Pinot

On the Russian River, grape growing and fish don’t always mix By Will Parrish In July, roughly 1,000 rural Sonoma County residents overflowed classrooms and small meeting chambers at five informational sessions convened by the State Water Resources Control Board. It would be hard to exaggerate many attendees’ outrage. At one meeting, two men got … Continue reading “Coho vs. Pinot”

Sonoma County residents’ battle with wineries is about more than water

By Geoffrey Mohan These days, the redwood-shaded creek by Laura and Ray Waldbaum’s house is a bone-dry path of rocks and gravel, its occasional stagnant pools a somber reminder of the salmon that once thrived there. Fewer than 500 endangered coho now wend their way from a network of such creeks to the Russian River … Continue reading “Sonoma County residents’ battle with wineries is about more than water”

Wine Industry Water Grab?

July 31, 2015 · Will Parrish The AVA California’s slow-mo adoption of groundwater regulations is prompting all sorts of legal maneuvers by the state’s irrigation elite, who are striving for the fewest restrictions on their pumps possible. In the Russian River watershed, from where I write this dispatch, arguably the irrigation elite’s elitist elites are … Continue reading “Wine Industry Water Grab?”

Activists see Sonoma County winegrowers’ proposed bill as a ‘water grab’

Environmentalists are mobilizing in protest of a would-be bill backed by the local wine industry that would create an irrigation district intended to protect the water rights of about 1,000 grape growers in the Russian River region. Noting that Sonoma County is facing “urgent water supply” problems unique to the Russian River watershed, the legislation … Continue reading “Activists see Sonoma County winegrowers’ proposed bill as a ‘water grab’”

Wine Industry Impacts: Wine and Water Watch (WWW)

I began sending out my article on the founding of the Wine and Water Watch (WWW) group yesterday. It has already been published in at least the following places, which include India and Virginia. It will likely be published elsewhere in the next few days. If you google the words “wine and water watch” with … Continue reading “Wine Industry Impacts: Wine and Water Watch (WWW)”

NASA Groundwater Subsidence Report: Drought Causing Valley Land to Sink

August 19, 2015 Maven Maven note:  Headline is the one issued with the press release. It should perhaps more properly be: “Groundwater Subsidence Causing Valley Land to Sink” From the Department of Water Resources: As Californians continue pumping groundwater in response to the historic drought, the Department of Water Resources today released a new NASA … Continue reading “NASA Groundwater Subsidence Report: Drought Causing Valley Land to Sink”