by Will Parrish, June 4, 2014 California is the most hydrologically altered landmass on the planet, a distinction it first attained in the early-mid-20th century. The Hoover Dam (on the Colorado River), which began operation in 1936, was the largest dam in the world at the time of its completion. With regard to the world’s biggest […]

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May 28, 2014 The last time California endured a drought, legislators set their sights on the state’s heaviest water users: farmers. The state designed laws to push agricultural water districts to closely track their water flow and make the largest districts charge farmers based on how much they use. The economic theory is simple: If […]

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By GUY KOVNER THE PRESS DEMOCRAT June 13, 2014 Three environmental groups are challenging Sonoma County’s approval of a 54-acre Annapolis vineyard in a case that reflects long-standing conflict over expansion of the county’s $600 million a year grape industry. If the lawsuit were to succeed, it would wipe out the county’s vineyard development law, […]

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Annie Snider, E&E reporter Greenwire: April 17, 2014 Today, farmers and ranchers can freely do any number of things on their property affecting rivers, creeks and wetlands that no other sector could undertake without going to the federal government for permission. Agriculture is different, Congress decided when passing the 1972 Clean Water Act. For the […]

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Posted by Jay Famiglietti of University of California, Irvine in Water Currents on February 4, 2014 We’ve been working since the mid-1990’s, well before the mission was launched in 2002, to develop and test methods to help monitor groundwater depletion from space.  We’ve applied them around the world — in California, across the U.S., in the Middle East, East […]

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The Modesto Bee, February 7, 2014 By J.N. Sbranti Environmental advocates filed a lawsuit Thursday against more than a dozen Stanislaus County farmers seeking to shut off the water to about 60 recently approved wells for agricultural irrigation. The legal action seeks an environmental review of the impact those groundwater wells will have on Stanislaus’ […]

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Campaign for forgotten grain. Will California’s drought make farmers rethink what they should grow? A very thirsty California, often criticized for its paradoxical water wastage, has been suffering from the worst drought for 500 years as some climate experts put it. California is also historically a powerful agricultural state, the second in water intensive rice […]

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Why California’s drought is a disaster for your favorite fruits, vegetables, and nuts. By Alex Park and Julia Lurie Mon Feb. 24, 2014 2:55 AM GMT California, supplier of nearly half of all US fruits, veggies, and nuts, is on track to experience the driest year in the past half millennium [1]. Farms use about 80 percent [2] of the state’s “developed water,” or […]

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Politics cloud water debate Fixing California’s water crisis requires finding a way to reallocate supply among the state’s three major user groups ? and avoiding the political posturing and bickering that have surfaced. Michael There are two possible policy outcomes to a severe drought like the one California is experiencing now. One is that the […]

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By Lisa M. Krieger lkrieger@mercurynews.com March 29, 2014 PIXLEY – So wet was the San Joaquin Valley of Steve Arthur’s childhood that a single 240-foot-deep well could quench the thirst of an arid farm. Now his massive rig, bucking and belching, must drill 1,200 feet deep in search of ever-more-elusive water to sustain this wheat […]

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Good information for everyone…..Janus Subject: New Online Resources for Ag Water Stewardship The California Agricultural Water Stewardship Initiative (CAWSI) is pleased to announce the expansion of the online Agricultural Water Stewardship Resource Center, which now features 11 on-farm practices, 66 case studies, and a library of technical resources to assist farmers and ranchers, water suppliers, […]

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By MATT BROWN THE PRESS DEMOCRAT January 22, 2014, 7:57 PM If the debilitating drought continues, farmers and ranchers with rights to California’s creeks, rivers and lakes may be ordered to stop drawing the water that is vital to agricultural operations. That is the message Gov. Jerry Brown sent last week in his emergency drought […]

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To All: As I’m sure most if not all of you are aware, Governor Brown recently made his drought emergency declaration. While there are many positive aspects of the declaration – raising awareness of the drought, added pressure for reduced water usage, release of funds to address the drought, etc. – there are also some […]

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Dear Policy Makers: PLEASE: No more building in the floodplains.  Or in the predicted future 1% floodplains. New structures – homes, commercial, industrial, institutional and governmental buildings and roadways – have an average lifespan of 100 – 300 years if reasonably maintained. Approvals of new structures, or any consideration of alterations, expansions or reuse of […]

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by Shepherd Bliss Posted on November 29, 2013 by dandelionsalad The Watertrough Children’s Alliance (WCA)–mainly mothers with students at schools near where yet another apple orchard is being converted into a chemical vineyard–filed a lawsuit on the afternoon of Nov. 25 against the Paul Hobbs Winery. The next day Hobbs struck back with a press […]

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By PAUL PAYNE THE PRESS DEMOCRAT November 26, 2013 A citizens group is suing Sebastopol winemaker Paul Hobbs and Sonoma County over a 48-acre vineyard conversion project it says was approved in violation of state environmental laws. Watertrough Children’s Alliance alleges in court papers filed Monday that Agricultural Commissioner Tony Linegar erred in issuing a permit June […]

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Good morning, As the first significant rain of the season fell on Northern California the other day, the state Department of Water Resources issued an ominous water supply estimate that makes it clear that much more precipitation is needed this winter. The DWR projects that it will be able to fill only 5 percent of […]

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After a decade of our collective efforts to restore Clean Water Act protections to the nation’s wetlands and streams, NOW IS OUR WINDOW to move what is an historic and crucial rulemaking to reinforce the Clean Water Act. For almost 30 years following the passage of the 1972 Clean Water Act, the courts and the […]

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Dear All, You know what California has plenty of? Wineries. You know what it’s rapidly losing, and what it can never replace? Its ancient redwood forests, some of which have trees that are more than 2,000 years old.<http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AhZwZ/zoLT/AJaEt> A Spanish winemaker wants to chop down 154 acres of coast redwoods and Douglas firs to make […]

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University of Iowa-led research shows some drugs can partially regenerate themselves Assessing the risk posed to aquatic organisms by the discharge of certain steroids and pharmaceutical products into waterways is often based on a belief that as the compounds degrade, the ecological risks naturally decline. But there’s growing sentiment that once in the environment, some […]

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by NPR Don Gentry, chairman of the Klamath Tribes, says the tribes have not been able to fish for suckerfish for the past 27 years. “The condition of our fish is just so dire,” he says. Amelia Templeton for NPR So often, we take water for granted. We turn on the faucet and there it […]

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CATHY BUSSEWITZ THE PRESS DEMOCRAT, June 2, 2013 Wineries and vineyard owners have filed a flurry of applications to plant new vineyards and replace older vines in Sonoma County, even as the suitable land in the region has become more scarce. The rush to plant comes as the California wine industry is faced with aging […]

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June 16 By David Sneed — dsneed@thetribunenews.com Editor’s note: This is the second installment in a five-part series. Coming Tuesday: At the center of the debate is the wine industry, which is both a major water user and an essential driver of the county’s No. 1 industry: tourism. On the surface, the rural parts of […]

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Steve Adler, April 24, 2013 Winegrape growers within the Russian River watershed came through the first night of freezing temperatures with flying colors last week, as their sprinkler diversions for frost protection of vulnerable spring vine growth resulted in very little drop in river flow levels. The issue involves farmers in Mendocino and Sonoma counties, […]

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November 2012 On November 13, 2012, the California Roundtable on Water and Food Supply released its latest report, From Storage to Retention: Expanding California’s Options for Meeting Its Water Needs. The report builds on earlier work focused on agricultural water stewardship, and argues for an expansion of approaches to storing water that increase supply reliability […]

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April 4, 2013 WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today released a report to Congress on the progress of the National Water Census, which is being developed at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to help the nation address its critical water needs. “This update to the National Water Census—the first since 1978—will […]

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