“President Barack Obama’s lead adviser on water and wildlife toured the enormous south Delta export pumps Tuesday, examining the roaring, 22,500-horsepower pumps before cautioning that no one would receive all the water they need this year.
“U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell told reporters that state and federal governments will have to be flexible to make the best use of a limited amount of water.”
“A state water official said Thursday that despite the ‘horrifying’ drought gripping the state, there’s still a chance that farmers will get San Joaquin River water this summer instead of the ‘zero allocation’ announced.”
“A court ruling issued Wednesday could throw up obstacles to operation of a Kern County groundwater bank that has helped billionaire Stewart Resnick build a nut empire in the southern San Joaquin Valley.”
From the Stockton Record Alex Breitler Environment blog:
“Recent storms have boosted the amount of water flowing through the Delta, and San Joaquin Valley farmers expressed frustration today [March 4] that more of that water isn’t being sent their way, given that more than half a million acres are expected to be fallowed this year.”
From the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Planting Seeds blog:
“Members of Governor Brown’s Interagency Drought Task Force visited UC Merced today for meetings with local government leaders and the California State Board of Food and Agriculture, which held its regular monthly meeting on the Merced campus.
“Late-winter rain has prompted the Oakdale and South San Joaquin irrigation districts to postpone the start of their 2014 deliveries to next week.
“Both had planned to begin filling canals Monday, which was somewhat early because of the mostly dry conditions this year, but the recent storms brought a change. OID now plans to start next Monday, and SSJID will follow March 12.”
“On many other farms throughout the [San Joaquin] Valley, growers can choose not to water tomatoes, onions, alfalfa or other annual plantings. Without river water, they’ll use their well water to protect bigger investments in permanent crops, such as almonds and vineyards.
But Terra Bella farmers don’t have many annual plantings. They grow trees, mostly citrus, olives and pistachios.
“An agreement has been reached between the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust and Friant Ranch developers that will end a legal challenge over Fresno County’s approval of the 2,270-home project.
“Under the agreement, Friant Ranch will charge a one-time, $500 fee on each home to provide a park fund. That money will be used to restore and maintain recreation projects along the San Joaquin River Parkway.”
“There were several positives in the first meeting of the Stanislaus County Water Advisory Committee, which is tasked with developing recommendations on the equitable management and regulation of groundwater in Stanislaus County.
“First, the county gave the 19-member committee a June 11 deadline to report back to the Board of Supervisors.”