California Farmers Could Save a Lot of Water — But Their Profits Would Suffer

California farmers could save massive amounts of water if they planted less thirsty — but also less lucrative — crops instead of almonds, alfalfa and other water-guzzling crops, according to new research by scientists who used remote sensing and artificial intelligence.

OPINION- I’m A California Farmer. Other States Can Learn From Our Water Conservation Success.

Last fall, all seven states sharing the Colorado River — Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming — came together and agreed on a short-term fix to alleviate pressing concerns caused by prolonged drought.

Opinion: Farmers Flush With Water Now, But State Still Hasn’t Prepared for the Next Drought

For most of the state, the drought is over. The Central Valley is receiving their full state water supply allocation and farmers don’t need to pull water from the ground to keep their crops from dying of thirst. But that doesn’t mean the signs along Interstate 5 and Highway 99 grumbling about the “Politicians Created Water Crisis” and the Valley’s man-made dust bowl, and asking if “Growing Food Is Wasting Water?” should be taken down.

California Farmers: Glen Canyon Dam a Major Problem in West’s Water Supply

California farmers are putting a big target on Glen Canyon Dam, telling the federal government it’s time to take a serious look at suggestions to stop using the dam to produce electricity. Talk of decommissioning the dam has been on the fringe of criticism of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation management of the Colorado River, but it could gain momentum as public comment is released in the coming days.

Freeing Up Colorado River Water from California Farms Will Take More than Just Money, Just Ask the Farmers

Under the broiling hot sun of California’s Imperial Valley, a canal cuts the land in two. On one side, gravelly beige sand is dotted with scrub and shimmering waves of heat blur the mountains in the distance. On the other, sprawling fields of crops blanket the valley floor in a mat of bright green squares.

Opinion: San Diego County Farmers’ Water Dispute Shows Ratepayers Will Balk at Ever-Costlier Bills

In 1991, during a lengthy drought, the giant Metropolitan Water District of Southern California ordered huge cuts in supplies to the San Diego County Water Authority, which relied on MWD for 95 percent of its water. The authority resolved back then to steadily and sharply diversify its supplies, and it did with great success.

Imperial Valley Farmers Brace for Potential Water Cuts

During Mark McBroom’s 40 years of farming in the Imperial Valley, he’s had to adapt to changing climate conditions and water availability. After California, Arizona and Nevada came to an agreement in May to reduce their Colorado River water usage, McBroom may soon have to adapt again. Imperial County is the driest in California, only getting 2 to 3 inches of rainfall every year. So, farmers in the region get the vast majority of their water from the Colorado River.

California Farmers at Odds With States Seeking Colorado River Conservation Plan

The law of the River– the Colorado River, that is – says the farmers come first. That’s how they see it in California, in the Imperial Valley, where farming is big business.

Storm Deluge Stirs Hope for Water Supply

California farmers are encouraged by the series of atmospheric river storms that brought near-record rain and snow, filling depleted reservoirs and bolstering the snowpack.

Frost Pauli, vineyard manager for Pauli Ranch in Potter Valley in Mendocino County, said he feels optimistic after three intense years of drought. He said the winter storms “have been excellent for our water supply.”

California Program Pays Farmers to Fallow Fields to Preserve Water Amid Drought

With climate change and drought, the state of California is incentivizing not using farmland or fallowing it. The move comes as irrigation in some areas is damaging residential wells. Katie Staack farms 3,500 acres of almonds in Stanislaus County. She is one of the hundreds interested in the newly created LandFlex program. “The program is really unique because it’s focused on wet water, making sure we have wet water for our communities and aquifers, our ecosystems and farms,” Aubrey Bettencourt said.