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2018 Farm Bill tapped for talks in Sacramento

California-centric priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill will be discussed at a July 5 meeting of the State Board of Food and Agriculture in Sacramento.

The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture – Main Auditorium, 1220 N Sacramento.

“This meeting is the beginning of our outreach efforts to stakeholders to gather input and help shape California’s recommendations concerning national farm programs and policy,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Developing California’s priorities for the 2018 farm bill allow us to help frame the discussion as preparations begin at the federal level.”

As State Loosens Grip on Conservation Rules, La Cañada Utilities Make Plans for a Dry Future

A decade ago, before the state of California declared itself to be entering a prolonged drought period, most La Cañada Flintridge residents were pretty loose with their taps.

Customers served by Foothill Municipal Water District, an agency that imports water from Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, used an average of about 296 gallons of water per person in a single day in 2006-07. One of the FMWD’s member agencies stood out for its consumption: Valley Water Co. customers used a staggering 435 gallons per person per day, according to the district’s figures.

Government Agency Seeks Ideas to Save Salton Sea

The California Natural Resource Agency is holding workshops to explain what’s being done to save the shrinking Salton Sea, and the agency is open to hearing ideas from the public.

Recently the California state budget allocated more than $80 million for projects to save California’s largest lake from turning into a major health hazard. Dozens of people showed up for the Salton Sea Management public workshop at the Coachella Valley Water District headquarters on Thursday night. Some people came with questions on what’s being done to save the Salton Sea.

$80.5 Million in the State Budget Means a Restored Salton Sea

A chunk of the California state budget that was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this week will be used to finally begin restoration of the Salton Sea in Imperial County. The $80.5 million means a green light on wetland construction after countless environmental impact studies were made over the years, Dan Farris, director of operations for the Coachella Valley Water District, told KPCC.

These wetlands, which are set to be established on the south end of the body of water, will provide provide something that hasn’t been there for some time: a habitat for wildlife.

Farmers Win Over Fish in Shasta Water Release Agreement

After weeks of uncertainty and pressure from members of Congress, federal officials this week announced a plan for managing water releases from California’s largest reservoir this summer in a manner that will not involve cutbacks in farm water deliveries — at least if all goes as hoped.

For more than a month, federal agencies have battled behind the scenes over how to balance the needs of California farms and two endangered fish species whose populations have been decimated by years of drought and environmental decline.


OPINION: Paying Attention to our Water Supply

Minnesotans have 10,000 good reasons to care about their water resources.

And they do, demonstrating it by voting themselves a tax increase in 2008 largely on the strength of an appeal for the value of our lakes, rivers and streams. Beyond that, “there’s an alignment of planets right now” when it comes to attention to water issues, the Freshwater Society’s Steve Woods told us. He cites among recent headline-makers the Flint, Mich., contamination crisis; a Des Moines water system lawsuit over upstream pollution; and droughts in our Western states and around the globe in India.

California Bullet Train, Delta Tunnels: Jerry Brown’s Pet Projects Face Threat From Ballot Measure

Two of Gov. Jerry Brown’s favorite projects — building a high-speed rail system and a pair of massive tunnels under the Delta — face a serious threat if California voters pass a measure heading for the November ballot.

 The “No Blank Checks Initiative,” bankrolled with $4.5 million from Stockton farmer and businessman Dean Cortopassi, would require a public vote on any state project in which $2 billion or more in revenue bonds would be issued. And since both the bullet train and twin-tunnels projects would most likely require that kind of financing, voters could ultimately get a chance to decide their fate.

BLOG: Is California a ‘State in Denial’ Concerning its Drought?

Following the first year of near average rainfall compared to the past four years of extreme drought conditions, California has decided to retract all urban water conservation efforts for the foreseeable future. The state’s reservoirs are full and various urban water municipalities have been losing money as a result of the water conservation efforts enforced last year. This effort succeeded beyond what was projected. Now all restrictions have been dropped for, at least, urban consumers. Is this a wise decision?

2,600 Buildings Threatened by Northern California Wildfire, Forcing Residents to Flee

A wildfire burning in Northern California has grown to more than 1,500 acres and continues to threaten thousands of homes, forcing residents to flee, authorities said Thursday.

The Trailhead fire broke out Tuesday along the middle fork of the American River near Todd Valley, about 50 miles northeast of Sacramento, according to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Amid temperatures in the 90s and low humidity, the fire grew Thursday by at least 300 acres as about 1,900 firefighters sought to control the blaze.

Let Bass off the Hook in Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnel Plan

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton….” Hold it there. Cotton growers don’t like those fish jumpin’.

Neither do hardly any other growers in the thirsty San Joaquin Valley. Not bass, anyway, jumpin’ in the bucolic California Delta. They want `em dead. Striped and black bass, so popular with recreational anglers, are trying to survive in water that San Joaquin Valley growers desperately covet for their crops. And the fish are messing it up.