A call for leadership and compromise to ease water woes for California farmers was made to members of Congress in a letter sent this week from 11 California agriculture groups. Emergency drought relief bills passed this year in the U.S. Senate (S. 2198, the Emergency Drought Relief Act) and the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 3964, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act) are currently being reconciled. Time, however, is running out for legislators to produce a final bill.  Ag producers and their communities are urgently in need of a change in the law. Congress is scheduled to recess for a five-week summer break on July 31, and they will have only a very short time in September before Congress recesses for the election.

Dennis Nuxoll

A study released today by economists from the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences depicts a significant socioeconomic impact on the state of California due to this year’s drought. Using extrapolated estimates released on May 19, 2014, researchers reported that water shortages and the continuing drought will cost the state $2.2 billion and cost Californians over 17,000 seasonal, part-time and full-time jobs.

Dave Puglia

As a result of California SB 103, an emergency drought relief measure, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has announced that it is now accepting applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP).  Applicants may apply for an estimated $10 million in competitive grants that can be used for the implementation of water conservation measures that result in increased water efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. 

Gail Delihant

In hearings this week, the State Water Resources Control Board (Board) considered a proposed resolution regarding drought-related emergency regulations for curtailment of water diversions.  The authority to adopt emergency measures was made possible through Governor Jerry Brown’s emergency drought declaration which occurred on January 17, 2014 and was continued in his April 25th proclamation.

Gail Delihant

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Water Supply

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Water Supply Archive