Obama’s visit spotlights California’s drought - The Packer

Obama’s visit spotlights California’s drought

02/15/2014 11:18:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

Smith and others said that additional reservoir storage is needed to capture water during rainy years and save it for dry years.

Rudy Hernandez, who manages pistachio ranches in Kern and Fresno counties, said he has seen the disparity between infrastructure investments and a lack of them.

The Westlands Water District west of Fresno, for example, has historically relied on federal surface water deliveries. Although individuals have sunk new wells since the past drought, the district as a whole hasn’t made large-scale investments in alternative water sources.

But the Semitropic Water Storage District in Kern County began a groundwater banking program in the early 1990s during the state’s last prolonged drought. The program is designed to reduce groundwater overdraft and increase water delivery reliability for the 136,000 or so irrigated acres within the district.

George Soares, a managing partner of the legal firm Kahn, Soares & Conway LLP, Hanford, Calif., said five to six water bond measures are in various stages of development as possible 2014 ballot proposals.

An $11.9 billion water bond, dubbed the Safe, Clean and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act, was planned for a public vote in 2009.

It was withdrawn after supporters determined voters wouldn’t pass it. But Soares said he believed the time was right to present it to voters.

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N California  |  February, 17, 2014 at 09:18 AM

We often hear that farmers use 80% of the water in California. Yes, farmers may use 75-80% of the water that is CAPTURED. But 70-80% of the water/snow that falls in California flows out to the pacific ocean. So one could just as easily say farmers only use 10-15% of the water. And 70-80% of the water is earmarked for the environment. I'm not suggesting that no water should flow to the pacific ocean, but when slicing this pie let's start with an honest pie.

N California  |  February, 17, 2014 at 09:26 AM

Clarification..."And 70-80% of the water is earmarked for the environment" Should read "And the 70-80% of this water that flows through to the pacific ocean should be included as water for environmental purposes"

MN  |  February, 20, 2014 at 04:34 PM

THE MESSIAH knows about as much about a drought as he knows what OBAMA CARE covers! He doesn't have a clue, but can declare an EXCUTIVE ORDER to stop the drought just like his declaration for foreign countries to stop killing! He never thinks about cutting the BILLIONS of dollars of foreign aid or FOOD STAMPS, because they are his voters!

san pablo,ca  |  February, 21, 2014 at 11:48 AM

TRS..."millions of $ for foreign aid ....because they are his voters";Really?, I wasnt aware people in "foreign " countries could vote in USA elections. FYI Mr. Poster Boy For Ignorant Republicans; Food Stamps are not a product of Executive Orders, They are passed into law, ALONG with all those "SOCIALIST HANDOUTS" known as price supports to farmers. The largest beneficuary were the largest Corporate Farming entities, not the little guy. The Affordable Care Act, also, was not an Executive Order, but a Bipartisan Law. This president has more "clues" about every issue pertinant to everyone in the US & Worldwide & is willing to put a good size band aid(Emergency Funding) on to stop the bleeding to buy time for a more long term fix. Sac. & Central Valley Farmers & residents have Pumped the underground Aquifers nearly DRY & have wasted Cheap water with flood irrigation & careless water management using old methods. Now its time to get our act together & manage water with Brains not bigger open Canals. Tomato corn & rice growers, in Cal fields I've seen, still overtill the ground every year, never cover crop, thereby losing any winter water to evaporation & miss out on capturing nitrogen (fixed by legume c c). So, Mr Blowhard, go ahead & blame Pres. Obama for your mistakes & ignorance, dont change you "buggy whip" mindset or farming methods & pretty soon you'll be bankrupt. Then, when you apply for Food Stamps & Unemploymentbenefits & try to get Health Coverage supplimented by the Affordable Care Act please keep in mind your Republican Heros that are hard at work in your TEA Party side of Congress trying to cut your $250/month of Food Stamps. Then, who will you blame?

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