A recent survey by the Farm Water Coalition indicated that 41% of California’s irrigated farmland will lose 80% of its surface water in 2015 due to cutbacks because of the drought. Add that to a reduction of more than 30% last year and it’s obvious that farmers and ranchers have suffered the brunt of drought-related losses, so far.
Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed granting new enforcement powers to local agencies in California’s ongoing drought, including penalties of as much as $10,000 for the most egregious violations of conservation orders. Asked about the timing of the legislation, Brown said, “We’re in a drought … It’s an emergency, and we have to act expeditiously.”
An esteemed local public radio station in San Francisco, KALW 91.7 FM, recently discussed California's Drought on their popular program, City Visions. Listen to host David Onek discuss the issues with guests: Cynthia Koehler, Jason Peltier and Kate Poole.
Due to overzealous application of the Endangered Species Act, the federal government has defaulted to the most water restrictive policy possible, without regard to science or drought conditions. Over the last 20 years, that has meant redirecting some 2 million acre-feet of water a year from human to environmental purposes, causing nearly continuous shortages for our farmers, weakening our water system and, sadly, producing no measurable benefits for the fisheries.
It’s easy to treat California’s drought as a weather-induced problem, but when you travel through the Central Valley, you’ll find another analysis.
Actor William Shatner, 84, announced on Friday that he plans to launch a Kickstarter to raise $30 billion for a water pipeline from Seattle to Lake Mead in Nevada, which feeds water to Arizona, Nevada and California.
There are few industries that are truly essential to maintain life. Agriculture is one of them. There are few if any places in the world with the combination of climate, soil, water and know-how needed to grow food with the efficiency, care and stewardship that occur in California.
The blistering drought that has Californians timing their showers, driving dirty cars and staring at brown lawns and empty swimming pools is a “man-made disaster,” according to critics, who say the Golden State’s misguided environmental policies allow much-needed freshwater to flow straight into the Pacific.
China consumes around a third of global fertilizers, with rapid growth in use in recent years driven largely by higher fruit and vegetable production. Over the past three decades, China's use of chemical fertilizer grew by an average 5.2 percent a year, reaching 59 million tonnes in 2013.
As the San Joaquin Valley undergoes its third decade of government-induced water shortages, the media suddenly took notice of the California water crisis after Governor Jerry Brown announced statewide water restrictions. In much of the coverage, supposedly powerful farmers were blamed for contributing to the problem by using too much water. Not surprisingly, the media reports are widely inaccurate.