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Opinion: Silver Lining to Water Woes Could be Farmers Putting Their Lands to New Uses Besides Crops

The Central Valley has reached a critical juncture.

On one path, without proactive, collaborative planning, the Valley could become a haphazard patchwork of dusty fields infested with invasive weeds and pests, further impairing already poor air quality, devastating the agricultural economy and putting many farmworkers out of work.

On another path, the Valley can remain a thriving agricultural region amid a mosaic of new land uses, like vibrant habitat corridors for the endangered San Joaquin kit fox or wildlife-friendly groundwater recharge areas for migratory birds or outdoor recreational green spaces for families.

Valadao Hopes to Pump Funding Into Water Infrastructure

Despite taking two years off from Congress, David Valadao (R—Hanford) is getting back to work by introducing new legislation to help keep water flowing in the Central Valley.

Early this month, Valadao introduced the Responsible, No-Cost Extension of Western Water Infrastructure Improvements, or RENEW WIIN, Act, a no-cost, clean extension of operations and storage provisions of the WIIN Act.

Opinion: As Another Dry Year Looms in California, Key Steps Will Make a Resilient Water Future

On issues ranging from climate policy to immigration and health care, the past four years have been full of discord between California and Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, water users throughout California have not escaped the conflict, including in the Central Valley, where our communities have suffered as a result. Now, with drought conditions returning and the impacts of climate change intensifying, it is time to advance a solution for statewide water policy that will transition us from an era of conflict to one of collaboration.

‘It’s a Toxic Blend’: Where the Kids are Warned Not to Swallow the Bath Water

An invisible line splits the rural road of Avenue 416 in California’s Tulare county, at the point where the nut trees stretch east toward the towering Sierra Nevada mountains in the distance. On one side of the line, residents have clean water. On the other side, they do not. On the other side lies East Orosi, an unincorporated community of about 700 where children grow up learning to never open their eyes or mouths while they shower.

Lack of Rain Could Potentially Impact Crops in the Central Valley

Crops are now blooming here in the San Joaquin Valley, which marks the beginning of harvest season for farmers.

As a drier-than-usual wet season continues to unfold, many are worried about how current drought conditions will impact this year’s crop.

Water Wars Heat Up in California

Water makes the world go ‘round, and a major player in California’s breadbasket doesn’t want to part with more than they have already. The city of Bakersfield, and the Kern County Water Agency are suing nearby water districts over their plan to skim water from Kern County sources for transport to other parts of the state — water that county officials say they need for themselves.

House Passes Water Resources Development Act; Final Bill Expected to Become Law This Year

On Tuesday, Congressman John Garamendi, a senior member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure whose district includes 200 miles of the Sacramento River and is adjacent to several major ports, secured key provisions in the “Water Resources Development Act of 2020” for the California Delta and Central Valley. The legislation passed the House Tuesday and is expected to pass the Senate with strong bipartisan support and become law this year.

Is Your Drinking Water Safe? Here’s a Guide to Common Central California Contaminants

Do you know whether your drinking water is polluted with a contaminant? If so, this guide provides a summary of known health risks of contaminants, and how you can protect you and your family if your water is known to be polluted. If you’re unsure, click here to find out if your water system is contaminant and what pollutants are above healthy levels.

Opinion: One Water District is Trying to Make Sure Agriculture Cleans Up Its Own Mess

A Central California water board is poised to do something rare in American agriculture: It is trying to establish enforcement mechanisms — not just toothless regulations — to limit the use of farm fertilizers that contribute to dangerous levels of groundwater pollution. If the effort is successful, within a few decades it will have reversed or at least stopped adding to the pollution of groundwater beneath the Salinas and Santa Maria valleys.

Cox Introduces $800 Million Water Bill

Rep. T.J. Cox-D, who represents a portion of Southwestern Tulare County, introduced the Western Water Storage Infrastructure Act, an $800 million bill addressing surface and groundwater storage and water delivery.

The bill is another in a series of bills addressing water infrastructure in the Central Valley that have been introduced in Congress. California representatives Jim Costa-D and John Garamendi-D are co-sponsors of the legislation.

The bill is designed to essentially replace funding authorized by the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation, WIIN, Act, which has been exhausted. The $800 million is more than double what was previously available. The bill also extends the operational and environmental authorities of the WIIN Act to provide continued water supply without adverse impacts to listed species.