Friday, Feb. 27, 2015

Too dry, again

No reservoir water projected for many Valley farmers

A tail water recovery ditch near a rice field in Northern California. GARY KRAMER/USDA

USDA

San Francisco Chronicle

UPDATE: The federal government informed California cities and farms today that the state's biggest reservoirs may not be able to provide most of the water typically doled out. And, unless there's significant rain and snow in the next few months, no water will be given to growers on the fertile west side of the San Joaquin Valley, for the second year in a row, farmers reported. A fourth year of drought has left the federally-run Central Valley Project with little reserves.

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Fresno approves $429M water upgrade project

Fresno Bee

The Fresno City Council approved Mayor Ashley Swearengin's historic water project Thursday night, assuring a secure supply of the liquid gold well into the 21st century. The 6-1 vote was actually for a five-year rate plan. But its effect is to set in motion a $429 million upgrade of a crumbling system that for too long has relied on a much-abused aquifer.

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Hundreds of illicit wastewater pits in Kern County

Los Angeles Times

Water officials in Kern County discovered that oil producers have been dumping chemical-laden wastewater into hundreds of unlined pits that are operating without proper permits. The 300+ pits raise new water quality concerns in a region where agricultural fields sit side by side with oil fields and where California’s ongoing drought has made protecting groundwater supplies paramount.

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