Yesterday, Governor Doug Ducey announced Thomas Buschatzke as head of the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR). Buschatzke has been serving as assistant director for the department's Water Planning Division since 2011. In that capacity, he has been responsible for planning and policy programs for the management of the state's water supplies. According to the department’s press release, he also manages multiple regulatory and permitting programs and ADWR's water conservation and drought management efforts.
As the California drought emergency continues, the State Water Resources Control Board (The Board) issued a notice late last week advising all water rights holders that if hydrologic conditions do not significantly improve in the next several months, curtailments in 2015 can be expected to be the same as or exceed those seen in 2014. In its notice, the Board encouraged water holders to plan ahead and to look into additional conservation measures and alternative water supplies.
The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has declined to consider appeals that challenge water export restrictions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The restrictions, implemented in accordance with the Endangered Species Act, were set forth in 2008 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
On Friday, U.S. Supreme Court justices will meet to consider several pending appeals, including two that focus on the California water dispute; one from a coalition of water agencies and the second from Central Valley growers.
Water and water management is one of the most critical issues farmers face these days. Enhancing irrigation efficiency goes beyond addressing challenges related to water supply. It also impacts nutrient and water quality management and it is critical for business operations. Western Growers understands the issues farmers face and is sponsoring a webinar to provide an overview of the benefits of good irrigation management and techniques to improve irrigation efficiency and nutrient management through irrigation systems.
Statement by Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif:
“We have spent years working together to create a better water plan for our state’s future. Voter approval of the water bond was one important step, and the enactment of groundwater regulation legislation, while controversial, has been achieved. However, reliable water supplies for much of California will remain elusive without improvements to the Delta. The revisions to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan mark another important step in moving the project forward. We must continue this progress to protect California’s water security.”
This past week, LA Times Columnist George Skelton wrote a piece on California’s water shortage suggesting that “thirsty” crops, such as almonds, should be regulated, especially in times of drought. Western Grower’s President and CEO Tom Nassif responded with a Letter to the Editor which was published on yesterday.