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Property owners already paying for Governor’s tunnels, group says

The “Zone 7 Water Agency” of Alameda County has been using property taxes to pay for planning costs for the governor’s massive Delta water tunnels without a vote by the public, the anti-tunnel advocacy group Restore the Delta says Thursday.

It says it’s claims are based on documents released under the California Public Records Act.

Fees for the tunnels were to come from water ratepayers not property taxes..

BLOG: California’s Agriculture Chief: Why Can’t We All Get Along?

Among Nebraska’s best farm exports may be one of the country’s most important agriculture officials, California’s Secretary of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross. Raised on a Nebraska farm, Ross knows her way around fields and barns, but has spent much of her adult life focused on farm policy, including stints working for a US Senator and the current US Secretary of Agriculture before accepting her current post.

House approves Denham bill to protect salmon, eliminate wasteful water usage

The House of Representatives approved legislation on Tuesday that U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) introduced to address conflicting statutes that endanger salmon in California.

The Save Our Salmon (SOS) Act, H.R. 4582, would strike a doubling provision for striped bass — a non-native predator of salmon — outlined in the 1992 Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA). In the process, the bill would help curb non-essential water usage because millions of acre-feet of water have been flushed into local waterways to help salmon and other native species reach the ocean while striped bass simultaneously feed on them.

Super-warm seas wiped out an entire underwater forest, scientists report

This year, the tragic die-off of large volumes of coral at the treasured Great Barrier Reef has provided a climate change shock like few others. The cause was too much warm water — which seems to have pushed the corals past a thermal survival threshold. And that warm water, in turn, is tied to climate change.

Now, however, a team of researchers has revealed that another Australian coastal ecosystem that gets less attention — Australia’s kelp-dominated Great Southern Reef, which covers a huge expanse along its more temperate southern and southwestern coasts — saw an equally dramatic ecosystem upheaval five years ago.

BLOG: Leave California’s ‘New’ Water in the Ground

In the last couple of weeks, the California media have been heralding the discovery of “new water” in deep aquifers as a possible solution to the state’s ongoing drought and water shortages. Unfortunately, the updated estimate of available groundwater reported by Stanford University researchers isn’t that new—scientists have long known that there are many deep aquifers throughout the state—and more significantly, accessing these waters would be extremely expensive due to their great depth and poor quality.

Progress report on Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

California is being pulled, kicking and screaming to the point of becoming the last state in the western U.S. to regulate its groundwater resources.

Legislation passed in 2014 sets the stage for an unprecedented effort to balance our groundwater supplies with demand. Thursday in Bakersfield, growers and water managers received a progress report on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which promises to be a game-changer down on the farm. At Hodel’s Restaurant Thursday morning, stakeholders were digesting what they learned about the landmark water legislation passed in 2014.

Arctic ice is getting hammered this year and that could affect weather patterns here in the future

It’s always difficult to imagine how something thousands of miles away will have anything to do with you directly, but we need to do just that with the Arctic because big changes are happening now and big changes are coming.

Let’s get caught up with Arctic Sea Ice, if you’re not familiar. At the top of the planet, we have a big chunk of the ocean that is frozen and we call it an ice cap.

Irrigators hope water supplies last through season

The unpredictable water picture continues to worry farmers across the Pacific Northwest and California as they head into the heart of irrigation season. Water managers anxiously watch river and reservoir leve

Yet overall the consensus that emerges seems to be: So far, so good.

“I’m very pleased with where we are compared to a year ago. That’s not to say we won’t have lower than normal flows in July and August but it can be managed and we will make it through,” said Jeff Marti, drought coordinator for the Washington Department of Ecology in Olympia.



Tentative Ruling Sets Back Delta Plan

The plan to improve the Delta’s natural environment and the efficiency of the state and federal water projects has been put on hold by a tentative ruling from a Sacramento Superior Court Judge.

On June 24, Judge Michael Kenny ruled on clarification motions concerning a consolidated suit aimed at halting the Delta Plan. In his words, the plan is “vacated and invalid.”

Although the Delta Plan was created as an environment enhancer separately from the previous plan that included the Twin Tunnels, it still is linked to the Twin Tunnels.


OPINION: It will take new reservoirs to meet state’s growing water needs

These past few years have shown us just how bad California’s water situation can be when the rain doesn’t fall in the Valley and the snow doesn’t accumulate in the mountains.

A lack of precipitation in the Central Valley means reduced water allocations for farmers and a greater demand on groundwater supplies. The fallout is a sluggish economy, a loss of jobs and an increased number of dry wells.

Face it – California has pretty severe weather cycles.