Friday, March 18, 2016

Major boost

State will deliver the most water since drought began

Banks Pumping Plant, part of the State Water Project. CURTIS JEROME HAYNES for Capital Public Radio

Capital Public Radio

Capital Public Radio & Sacramento Bee

California farmers and urban areas that rely on the State Water Project will now receive the largest allocation of water since 2012. In a further sign of the easing of drought, farms and cities learned Thursday that they will receive an estimated 45 percent of what they requested this year. That's up from a 30 percent estimated water allocation just three weeks ago. The allocation for 2015 was 20 percent.

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Decision time for Brown's water tunnels project

San Francisco Chronicle / AP

In what all agree will be the decisive year for the twin tunnels project in the Delta, Gov. Jerry Brown's plan — which is facing obstacles to environmental approval in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and mounting uncertainty over the financing — is splitting farmers and political leaders.

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Farms added 30,000 jobs in 2015 despite drought

Sacramento Bee

California's farm industry kept growing in 2015 despite a fourth year of drought, adding 30,000 jobs even as farmers idled huge swaths of land because of water shortages. Farms offset much of the surface water shortage with groundwater pumping. And the shift to perennial crops such as almonds accelerated, resulting in additional hiring for tree-planting and other labor, economists said.

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