“In a crushing reminder of the state’s parched plight, federal officials announced Friday that the Central Valley Project — California’s largest water delivery system — will provide no water this year to Central Valley farmers and only 50 percent of the contracted amount to urban areas such as Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties.”
“Sacramento area leaders are planning for hundreds of thousands of new homes in the coming decades, pegging the region’s economic growth to population growth and new housing starts. Those new residents – along with their houses and lawns – could gulp 50 billion additional gallons of water per year by 2035, if population projections hold and if they consume in the same manner as current residents.”
“Federal officials plan to announce Friday how much water they can release this year through a vast system of rivers, canals and reservoirs, but Central Valley farmers on the front lines of California’s historic drought expect to get little, if anything.
“The drought is affecting California farmers in different ways depending on where they farm. Some will turn to other water sources to make up at least part of the shortfall. Others will have to let some of their farmland go fallow.”
“In November, when it seemed clear that tough, dry times were setting in, the Bear Republic craft brewery gave $466,143 to the tiny Wine Country town to start drilling two new wells, which in turn would help the company expand beer operations. Without that money, the city wouldn’t have been able to dig.”
“The terrifying consequences of California’s ‘drought emergency’ cannot be denied: acres of mature, nut-bearing trees dug up; fertile land unplanted; agriculture jobs gone. Some communities are even struggling to provide drinking water for their residents.”
“The California Department of Public Health announced Tuesday it would offer assistance to three area foothill water districts at risk of running out of water — two at Shaver Lake and one at Bass Lake.”
“In preparation for the Bureau of Reclamation’s initial water year 2014 water allocation announcement in late-February, Reclamation is providing information on water supply conditions for the federal Central Valley Project. Reclamation’s water year runs from October 1 to September 30; the contract year runs from March 1 to February 28.”
“Most of California’s water comes from forests … Now, with a drought on and in the months after the Rim Fire devastated 400 square miles of forest in Tuolumne County, lots of folks who manage forests and water districts are eager to address the problem and work to take better care of forests.”
From the San Francisco Chronicle, in a commentary by David Sedlak:
“Most Bay Area residents obtain their drinking water from a system of reservoirs, canals and pipes that was built during the first half of the 20th century. In the near future, it is likely that we’ll pump a lot of money into this aging system to adapt it to rising sea levels and changes in rainfall patterns.