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Farmers Seek Help From Sen. Kamala Harris. What Did They Want Most? Hint: Starts With ‘W’

Agricultural leaders and farmers pressed their case for a reliable water supply, immigration reform and their fair share of the Farm Bill during a roundtable discussion with Sen. Kamala Harris on Wednesday. Harris is the former attorney general who won election last November in the race to replace outgoing Democrat Barbara Boxer. Harris is touring California this week, made good on her promise to visit the Valley to get a better understanding of the region’s needs, including its most powerful economic engine, agriculture.


‘Worst Is Over’ For Snowmelt, Officials Say

Even though there’s still plenty of snow in the Sierra and plenty of warm weather ahead, the California Department of Water Resources says it believes the annual snowmelt has peaked and should now decline. The observation came after a week in which landowners in some low-lying areas coped with flooding that resulted from a record-setting mid-June heat wave.

Waterwise: State Budget Includes Funds For Water Projects

California’s 2017-2018 fiscal year budget includes $17 million in allocations to tackle the Golden State’s drinking water crisis’ immediate needs, the Community Water Center reported. The drinking water advocacy group also called for state officials to seek long-term, sustainable funding sources for the state’s water systems. In a separate announcement, the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation announced seven grants for projects around California, including one in the Central Valley.

OPINION: Water, Water, Everywhere But Not A Drop For Trees

With great fanfare, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced the planting of 500 new trees in San Diego’s Balboa Park last week. Meanwhile, pepper trees in Old Town, jacaranda and pine trees in Point Loma, and even more precious trees and plants in the birthplace of California—Presidio Park—are allowed to wither and die, or be cut down, due to “the drought.” And that is just a few of the public park areas dying from neglect for want of a little water. Even the admirable attempt by the county to create a downtown waterpark falls short—lots of water bursts–but, negligible trees.

OPINION: Lies, Damned Lies & Twin Tunnels

In the Ohlone Wilderness south of Pleasanton is a 220-foot-tall reminder that the past may catch up with California. Calaveras Dam – built by the City of San Francisco 92 years ago – sits next to an active earthquake fault. Downstream are Fremont and other communities along Alameda Creek where 300,000 people live who are considered at risk in a major quake. The dam’s base is comprised of loose earth from a previous dam that had failed earlier in the 20th century. It was back in the day when quake knowledge was just barely out of the Stone Age.

LA Ratepayers Will Pay For Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels (But Big Agriculture Gets All Water)

One of the most enduring myths of California water politics is that the Delta Tunnels promoted by the Jerry Brown and Donald Trump administrations are designed to divert Northern California water to “fill swimming pools” of “wealthy water wasters” in Southern California. In reality, 80 percent of northern California water exported south of the Delta goes to irrigate agribusiness operations in the Central Valley, while the rest goes to urban and industrial users, including those in Southern California who have made many successful efforts to reduce water use and recycle water.

Kamala Harris Works To Forge Relationship With Central Valley

The drought may be over in the minds of urban Californians, quite literally washed away by huge accumulations of rain last year that filled reservoirs and left the state’s mountains covered with snow even now. But the farmers and others in the Central Valley, veterans of multiple drought-and-flood cycles, know the reprieve is only temporary. On Wednesday they pressed new U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris to work to ensure a more reliable source of water for the nation’s most bountiful farming region.


California Bill Takes Aim At Mojave Desert Groundwater Project With Ties To Trump Nominee

A new bill in the state Legislature would require California to review the environmental impacts of a company’s proposal to pump groundwater from beneath the Mojave Desert and sell it to Southern California cities — a controversial plan that was slowed down by President Obama, but which appears to have the backing of the Trump administration. Cadiz Inc. hopes to pump 16.3 billion gallons of groundwater annually in the heart of the desert, about 75 miles northeast of Palm Springs, on land surrounded by Mojave Trails National Monument and near Mojave National Preserve.

Chance of Thunderstorms Expected Wednesday for San Diego

Slightly above-average temperatures were expected to prevail throughout the county, but a chance of thunderstorms is expected to develop Wednesday and linger through next weekend, a National Weather Service forecaster said. “We’re not looking for a big soaker,” NWS meteorologist Jimmy Taeger said. “But starting Wednesday afternoon there will be a slight chance of thunderstorms developing in the mountains, increasing over the weekend. The best chances for rain will be this Saturday and Sunday.”

Snow on the Fourth of July: Skiers Bring Out the Shorts to the Slopes

Thousands of excited snowboarders and skiers took advantage of the snow in Squaw Valley over the holiday weekend, as slopes remained open thanks to the huge snowfall this year. The warm weather, paired with “corn snow” —  the snow consistency that is the more desirable pellet-type favored for beginners — made for a great atmosphere as people took to the slopes. “The snow is very soft and forgiving, so it’s great for beginners and intermediates,” said Sam Kieckhefer, spokesman for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. “You’re coming out in a t-shirt and shorts, and it’s warm — you don’t have to worry about getting cold.”