Tag Archive for 'california agriculture'

Calif. water overseer wants to reinforce farm water conservation

Photo retrieved from: circleofblue.org

“A newly appointed Delta water overseer wants to use the state constitution to enforce farm water conservation in California, contending that even small improvements could result in big savings.

“Craig Wilson is California’s first Delta watermaster, a position created by sweeping water reforms lawmakers passed at the end of 2009.

“In his first report to regulators, Wilson will argue Wednesday that farmers who use water inefficiently are violating the constitution’s requirement that its use be “reasonable.”

“His recommendations, if adopted, would mark the first time the doctrine has been applied so broadly.

“”It’s been taboo,” said Peter Gleick, a noted water expert and president of the Pacific Institute, an environmental research organization based in Oakland, Calif. “No one has wanted to step up and say, ‘This is not a reasonable or beneficial use of water.’ ”

“Gleick added: “We don’t have enough water anymore to be able to avoid that conversation.”"

Read more: The Miami Herald

As We See It: Save the salmon: Good news on fishing season, but battle over water diversion remains.

“There was a time when salmon was king.

“Now, finally, for the first time in three years, sport fishermen will again be able to fish for salmon in Monterey Bay.

“But the glory days of salmon fishing in local waters — really, most of the fishing industry — are decades past. The issue of who is to blame for the decline in chinook salmon, and its resulting effect on the fishing industry, is complicated.

“Overfishing and climate change have been blamed. But probably the main culprit is changes in the freshwaters flowing to the ocean. Salmon spawn in rivers and streams, before maturing in the ocean — and fishing advocates blame corporate farms in the San Joaquin Valley, which receive federally subsidized water diverted from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, for ruining the salmon spawn.”

read more: Santa Cruz Sentinel

Peter Gleik: Water infrastructure, but for whose benefit?

“the debate comes down to the best way to spend our limited public money to improve our water system. And spending $3.3 billion to help a very small number of farmers use water they cannot afford is not the best way. It won’t solve agriculture’s more fundamental challenges. It won’t restore our Delta ecosystems. It won’t satisfy new urban demands. In the end, the massive new infrastructure proposed for public financing would be an expensive distraction from real solutions.”

Read more: sfgate