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Water Supply and Water Rights

How we move water in California and put it to its best use is a vibrant and ongoing discussion. Who's water is it and how is it being used? Read more to learn about where your water comes from and where it is going.

WALTER A. SHUBIN: Different look at farm, water issues

Friday July 10, 2009 By Walter Shubin

Twenty years ago, I testified before the House Committee on Agriculture that federal farm policy was driving family farmers off the land, enriching commodities traders and large food processing corporations and undermining America's ability to produce healthy food.

Time, sad to say, has proven me right. Since I testified, a half-million American farmers have vanished.

Feds document shrinking San Joaquin Valley aquifer
Published Monday, Jul. 13, 2009

California's San Joaquin Valley has lost 60 million acre-feet of groundwater since 1961, according to a new federal study. That's enough water for 60 Folsom reservoirs.

This is among the findings in a massive study of groundwater in California's Central Valley by the U.S. Geological Survey. It helps shed light on the mysteries and dangers of California's groundwater consumption, which is mostly unregulated.

Revive files water right complaint with SWRCB

Pump and Spray for Sumner Hill and Holding Contract No. 7

During preparations for the CEQA lawsuit filed against the Tesoro Viejo development project Revive the San Joaquin discovered documents that contradicted the water rights nature and thus the assurance of water supply Tesoro claimed. The Tesoro FEIR relied on a USBR holding contract as the basis for their water right and assurance of water supply. Tesoro asserted that United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) held title to the water right requiring delivery of 5,000 a.f.

Water won't erase Valley's recession

Jeffrey Michael wrote an opinion piece in the Fresno Bee today and made some really good points. The 40% unemployment data used to point to Mendota's unemployment was taken from the 2000 census - when water availability was plentiful. This points to the lack of correlation to water = jobs in Eastern Fresno County. Read the editorial here: JEFFREY MICHAEL: Water won't erase Valley's recession Published online on Tuesday, May. 05, 2009 By Jeffrey Michael What is causing unemployment in the San Joaquin Valley?

Using Tulare Lake for Water Storage

Lewis Griswold published a column in the Fresno Bee outlining a proposal using the Tulare Lake area for water storage instead of the Temperance Flat Dam.

The San Joaquin Valley Leadership Forum has published a plan to use the Tulare Lake Basin for water storage. Read all about it here:

The text of the Fresno Bee column by Lewis Griswold is here:

Environmental groups sue to stop water tranfers

The Contra Costa Times – 4/15/09

By Heather Hacking

Environmental activists, including the Butte Environmental Council, filed a lawsuit Monday stating the state Department of Water Resources, the state Natural Resources Agency and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger are not following environmental laws for planned water transfers.

After filing the lawsuit, representatives from the groups said they will likely seek an injunction to halt the proposed water transfers.

House committee reviews state's drought crisis

The following is an article that appeared on the California Farm Bureau Fedreation website:

The full video of the hearing is located here:

Bureau increases water allocation to senior water rights holders

Apr 2, 2009 10:22 AM

The Bureau of Reclamation has increased from 75 percent to 100 percent the water allocation to senior water rights holders and wildlife refuges north and south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The increases result from additional precipitation, improved snowpack, and improved runoff into Shasta Reservoir since the March snow surveys by the California Department of Water Resources’ (DWR).

More water likely

Capital Press – 3/27/09

By Tim Hearden

California farmers and ranchers stand a better chance of getting at least some federal water than they did a month ago.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation issued its updated allocation forecast March 20, predicting that as much as 15 percent of average agricultural deliveries may be available for Central Valley Project contractors.

Pete Lucero, the bureau's spokesman in Sacramento, said the allocations could improve again when the agency issues its next updated allocation forecast on or about April 20.

Gov. Schwarzenegger Takes Action to Address California’s Water Shortage

02/27/2009   GAAS:079:09   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Proclaims State of Emergency, Directs Government to Utilize Resources, Help People

Watch streaming video of the Feb 4 debate on water issues at Fresno State, moderated by U.S District Judge Oliver Wanger.

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