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Dairy Farmer Near Patterson Making Most of Scarce Water

John Azevedo stretches the water that helps produce the milk on his dairy farm west of Patterson.

He is experimenting with drip irrigation lines for feed corn that used to be flood-irrigated. The water that chills his milk tanks is reused in nozzles that cool the cows on summer days. Azevedo is one of 16 farmers featured in a new report from Dairy Cares, a statewide industry program that encourages water and energy conservation and other practices.

How Plans to Save Fish Species Could Cut Summer Water Supply

This year was supposed to be different. With Northern California’s reservoirs finally brimming and cities liberated from stringent conservation rules, farmers were expecting more water for their crops. The worst of the drought seemed over.

Or maybe not. Despite a winter of fairly abundant rain and snow in the north state, federal fisheries regulators are considering a set of plans that would put Sacramento Valley reservoirs on a tight leash again this summer. Their aim is to prevent two endangered California fish species from going extinct.

29 Million Trees Have Died in California From Bark Beetles, Drought

Ongoing drought conditions have contributed to the 29 million tree deaths in California, a number that is still on the rise. In addition to millions of oak trees in the state being killed off by sudden oak death disease, bark beetles have also played a large role in taking out the timbers.

“The tree mortality that we’re experiencing, it’s really unprecedented,” California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott said in a video for the California State Association of Counties (CASC). “Unless you get into the Sierra Nevada, and particularly the central and southern Sierras, you don’t necessarily understand the gravity of it.”

North County Landfill Permit on Hold

The long-delayed and hotly contested Gregory Canyon Landfill doesn’t appear to be getting any closer to obtaining all of the permits still needed before construction of the dump south of state Route 76 near Pala could begin.

Work has yet to even begin on a permit needed from the county’s Air Pollution Control District because the new owners have yet to complete the necessary paperwork. Sovereign Capital Management Group, a San Diego-based private equity firm that took over the company last year, did however pay overdue fees last year with the intention of restarting the process.