Ag Today October 29, 2018
'No magic shortcuts' to fix California's water system, Trump memo could help GOP [Visalia Times-Delta]
…Trump’s executive action aims to cut down on “burdensome federal regulations” that make it “expensive to build and maintain water projects.”…Experts and farmers alike are skeptical that the memo alone will do anything to create additional reservoirs or increase water flow to the Valley, which even after a wet 2017, is still recovering from the most severe drought in its recorded history….Many optimistic farmers have staked their water hopes on redrafting biological opinions, which could ease restrictions placed on delta inflow to protect delta smelt and...
Ag Today October 26, 2018
Opinion: State water grab will devastate our community [Merced Sun-Star]
…The state has a plan, but so does Merced Irrigation District – a plan that will help salmon without devastating our community….Board members can still change course before choosing to devastate one of the poorest communities in the state….We pray that the five water board members will open their ears and hearts and understand what their staff is truly proposing and its impacts on the people who live here. As the state water board staff continues to pursue an ideology, MID remains committed to protecting salmon, our local water supply, our...
Ag Today October 25, 2018
U.S. dairy farmers get little help from Canada trade deal [Reuters]
Minnesota farmer Paul Fritsche can no longer afford health insurance as he struggles to sustain a dairy farm that has been in his family for nearly a century. With U.S. milk prices in the fourth year of a slump due to chronic oversupply, Fritsche, 58, is unsure whether he will be able to pass his 30-cow farm onto his sons and grandsons. "Do you pull the plug? We've been at it for 90 years," he said. "I'd hate to lose that." The dairy industry was a sticking point in the...
Ag Today October 24, 2018
Groundwater allocation between cities, agriculture up for discussion [Ventura County Star]
A state water management agency will consider a new pumping allocation formula on Wednesday that city officials fear will lead to higher water rates. The Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency board is expected to vote on an ordinance that sets pumping allocation for agricultural and municipal users. The proposal calls for municipal and industrial users to pump no more than 35,000 acre-feet of groundwater a year, representing less than 40 percent of the total allocation. There are two groups that pump water from the Oxnard and Pleasant Valley basins —...
Ag Today October 23, 2018
Water bond would spread money across the state — but pour it on the Central Valley [Los Angeles Times]
...At $8.9 billion, Proposition 3 is the latest — and biggest — in a series of water bonds to go before California voters since 2006. Its largess would spread up and down the state, but the measure asks state taxpayers to subsidize Central Valley agriculture to an unprecedented degree. Whether it is the cost of repairing the Friant-Kern and other federal canals, $675 million for groundwater management or a host of smaller programs, valley farm districts stand to reap several billion dollars’...
Ag Today October 22, 2018
Trump wants to cut red tape, hasten water projects in West [Associated Press]
President Donald Trump on Friday ordered the government to speed up environmental reviews and streamline regulations that he says are hindering work on major water projects in California and other Western states. Trump signed a memorandum aimed at helping the Central Valley Project and the California State Water Project in California, the Klamath Irrigation Project in Oregon and California and the Columbia River Basin system in the Pacific Northwest….The announcement is a boost for endangered Republican lawmakers in California’s Central Valley facing tough challenges from Democrats looking to...
Ag Today October 19, 2018
Trump to jump into Western water wars ahead of midterms [Politico]
President Donald Trump is jumping into Western water wars on the side of agricultural interests just weeks before the midterm elections, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the plans — a major political gift for GOP incumbents in some of the most competitive House races in the country where water supply is a top campaign topic. California Republican Jeff Denham, who is facing one of the country’s most competitive races for his Central Valley district, is due to join Trump in Arizona this afternoon for the signing of a...
Ag Today October 17, 2018
High-Speed Rail Authority approves local plan for connecting Bakersfield and Fresno [Bakersfield Californian]
A locally supported alternative for routing bullet trains into Bakersfield won approval Tuesday from California's high-speed rail agency, capping what had been a contentious planning process that pitted city interests against officials in Sacramento. Pending final approval by federal authorities, high-speed trains would lead southeast from Shafter parallel to Union Pacific railroad tracks before stopping at a station planned for F Street and Golden State Avenue on the northwestern outskirts of downtown Bakersfield. An earlier alignment studied by the rail authority would have run trains all the way...
Ag Today October 16, 2018
Lakehead residents raise questions about raising the height of Shasta Dam [Redding Record Searchlight]
About 130 private property owners around Lake Shasta could be forced to move if a plan to raise the height of Shasta Dam goes forward….About 90 people attended the meeting to hear from U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials about how Lakehead residents and business owners will be affected if the height of the dam is raised 18½ feet. While bureau officials said they hope to issue the first construction contracts by late next year, they emphasized Monday night that they still have many hurdles to jump before...
Ag Today October 15, 2018
Plan to revive rivers pits SF against California [San Francisco Chronicle]
...City water officials worry that the far-reaching effort to revive hundreds of miles of waterways will mean giving up too much of their precious mountain supplies. Now, as the city water department works to defeat the state plan — pitting itself against environmental groups in an unlikely alliance with thirsty Central Valley farmers, as well as their backers in the Trump administration — some at City Hall have begun wondering if San Francisco is on the right side of California’s latest water war. In a recent sign of an emerging...