News Line – November 24, 2014

Read the latest news about issues affecting agriculture and farm water in California.

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Water Bond

From: J. Coleman & K. Tiegs, Sacramento Bee

For California water managers, 2014 has been one for the record books. Reservoirs have dropped to near-record lows, surface water deliveries have been slashed and some communities are rationing water to keep supplies in reserve for next year.But amid these challenging conditions, California voters opened the door for long-term solutions when they passed Proposition 1 on Nov. 4. The $7.5 billion bond measure provides a much-needed infusion of funding for water projects and programs at a pivotal time in California.

From: Barton Thompson, San Francisco Chronicle

On Nov. 4, Californians overwhelmingly approved Proposition 1, California’s $7.5 billion water bond. Its passage was never really in doubt: Enduring a third year of drought, Californians found solace in Prop. 1’s promise of new storage facilities, conservation, recycled water, desalination and general drought preparedness. Whether Prop. 1 delivers on its promise, however, depends on what happens next.One danger is that Prop. 1 will lull Californians into believing that we have solved our water troubles. We haven’t. Nothing that Prop. 1 can do will redress the current drought. Even in the longer run, Prop. 1 is only a part of the solution to California’s water challenges.

Water Supply

From: Carolyn Lochead, San Francisco Chronicle

Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s abrupt decision to yank a water bill she had spent more than four months negotiating came just as the California Democrat and Central Valley Republicans appeared on the brink of a deal.The surprise climax shocked Republicans, avoided a potentially embarrassing split between Feinstein and her fellow California Democratic senator, Barbara Boxer, and proved a rare retreat by a veteran lawmaker famous for her deal making and persistence.

From: Al Smith, Fresno Bee

The news that U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has withdrawn from discussions regarding drought-fighting legislation is a bitter pill for our community to swallow. Despite good intentions, her departure leaves dozens of California communities without a solution to the crippling drought that has devastated our region.Although policymakers say they will take up the issue next year, that simply starts another clock ticking, and is not a guarantee that anything will be accomplished. Our communities have already gone too long without solutions. We call on our elected officials to come together and craft a legislative solution to the water predicament, before Congress adjourns in December.

From: Staff, Fresno Business Hub

Senator Feinstein’s recent decision to delay the drought legislation until 2015 is devastating news to local communities and businesses in light of the economic hardship that is occurring due to the zero water allocation. This press conference will be held to provide an opportunity for those most impacted by this situation to speak to the harm that is occurring.

Salton Sea

From: Staff, Imperial Valley Press

This iteration of the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors hasn’t been without its share of criticism, from us and others. At times, its actions can come off as aggressive, even confrontational and a little lone-wolfish.


But make no mistake, the board also operates from a position of cohesion, strong-willed and assertive when it feels it is right. The board members are very united, and they believe the Valley comes first above all else, and they are not afraid to show it.

From: Staff, Associated PressThe Imperial Irrigation District has asked the state water board to intervene to help prevent further deterioration of the Salton Sea.The Los Angeles Times reported in Saturday’s edition that district officials want the state to meet its obligation to provide water for the shrinking lake. They sent a plea to officials at the State Water Resources Control Board this week to help avert a “looming environmental and public health crisis.”

From: Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times

The Imperial Irrigation District has sent a plea to a state water board to help avert a “looming environmental and public health crisis” at the Salton Sea.In a letter this week to officials at the State Water Resources Control Board, the irrigation district asked that the board sponsor negotiations to get the state to fulfill its obligation to stop the deterioration of the sea caused by the sale of Imperial Valley water to San Diego County.

Food News

From: David Pierson, Los Angeles Times

The gnarled zinfandel grapevines on Rich Czapleski’s land have borne fruit for more than 100 years, producing dark, intense wines that exemplify the special growing conditions in this coveted winemaking region..Over that time, the vines have weathered some of California’s worst droughts – including the last three years with little difficulty.

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