Water: Upbeat first assessment of year’s supplies



The rainy season isn’t over yet, but California farmers already have reasons to be optimistic about the 2011 harvest.

A torrent of early winter storms and higher-than-expected water left from 2010 prompted federal regulators Tuesday to issue an upbeat first assessment of the year’s water supplies.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the sprawling network of pipes and pumps that bring water to Central Valley farmlands and some urban customers in the Bay Area, expects to deliver as much as 100 percent of the water supplies requested.

“The new year starts with an encouraging water supply forecast, thanks to the precipitation delivered by Mother Nature,” David Hayes, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, said in a statement.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/01/18/BARH1HARF6.DTL#ixzz1Bh1HaBxh

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More Federal Water Headed To The Central Valley

More federal water will be on the way to valley farmers in the future thanks to a new project.

A number of federal and state leaders were on hand Thursday in Tracy, to break ground on the water system improvement project called “the intertie”.

The $28 million project will connect the Delta–Mendota Canal to the California Aqueduct, to help move water.

The distance between the canals is only about 500 feet, between the intersections of Interstates 580 and 205, which is where the intertie will be built.

State leaders say this is just the beginning of what farmers, and Californians, need to sustain an adequate water supply.

Read more…

Link between Two Canals Could Ease California’s Water Crisis

TRACY, California, October 14, 2010 (ENS) – A host of federal, state and local officials and business leaders today celebrated the start of construction on a $28 million underground link between two Central Valley canals south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.  

When complete in 2012, the Delta-Mendota Canal/California Aqueduct Intertie project is expected to improve water supply reliability south of the Delta, one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions, which relies on irrigation to grow fruits, nuts and vegetables.

The Intertie is located in an unincorporated area of the San Joaquin Valley in Alameda County, west of the city of Tracy. The site is in a rural agricultural area that is owned by the state and federal governments.

Read more…

In Defense of Farming

By David Mas Masumoto

We’ve all heard it: The Valley needs to diversify the economy and stop being so dependent on agriculture. We need better-paying jobs, get people out of the fields, and stop the exploitation. The Valley must develop other resources and create another identity; we need to be something more than cows and critters, vines and cheap vino.

I hear the message: We’d be better off without farms and farmers.

I am defensive. We in the Valley already have a powerful economic identity called agriculture. Yet people seem to want to discard it, ignore it, and forget it.

Agriculture in our Valley is a multibillion dollar industry. When compared with the flash of the film industry or the sizzle of high technology, we don’t stand a chance. We aren’t sexy enough.

Read more: http://www.fresnobee.com/2010/09/24/2091645/in-defense-of-farming.html#ixzz10kWpg09F

Proposal: Calif. farmers could own water pipes

FRESNO, Calif. — The federal government is considering giving Central California farmers some massive water infrastructure to settle a lawsuit over drainage problems that killed birds and left farmland too salty for crops, according to a draft proposal obtained by The Associated Press.

Shifting the cleanup cost to the private sector would save the federal government about $2.2 billion, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials said Wednesday.

The complex deal could transfer the government’s stake in local pumps and drain pipes to some of the country’s biggest farming operations, according to a bureau letter detailing the legislative strategy for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

Read more…

Proposal: Calif. farmers could own water pipes

FRESNO, Calif. — The federal government is considering giving Central California farmers some massive water infrastructure to settle a lawsuit over drainage problems that killed birds and left farmland too salty for crops, according to a draft proposal obtained by The Associated Press.

Shifting the cleanup cost to the private sector would save the federal government about $2.2 billion, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials said Wednesday.

Read more…

Who is the California Farm Water Coalition?

David Zetland:

Mike Wade, Executive Director of the California Farm Water Coalition, has often commented (or been quoted) on this blog and other places in favor of continuing or increased water deliveries to agricultural interests.

And I have often disagreed with the way that Mike has presented his case.

What bothered me was Mike’s dogmatic insistence that water for ag was more important than water in other places. It reminded me of how a lawyer or lobbyist would say or do anything to benefit his client.

And that made me wonder just WHO Mike’s client was. It also made me wonder if CFWC was not violating its status as a 501(c)3 non-profit, which forbids lobbying* legislators on particular legislation (such as the water bills or how to allocate federal stimulus money).

Read more…

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