San Joaquin Valley

Special Report: Retiring Toxic Farmland in San Joaquin Valley

For Immediate Release: July 14, 2015 Contacts: Sandra Lupien, Food & Water Watch, 510-681-3171, [email protected] Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, 209-479-2053, [email protected] Tom Stokely, California Water Impact Network, 530-926-9727, [email protected]   SPECIAL REPORT: Retiring Toxic Farmland in Western San Joaquin Valley Would Save Water, Environment and Taxpayer Money Land retirement 25x cheaper than Tunnel plan and could save 455,000 acre-feet of water   Sacramento, CA – A new report by EcoNorthwest, an independent economic analysis firm, estimates that 300,000 acres of toxic land in the Westlands Water District and three adjacent water districts could be retired at a cost of $580 million to $1 billion.   Read the report here.   Retiring this land and curbing the water rights associated [...]

Water Export Pumps Have Run Every Single Day During Drought

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 3, 2015  Contact: Steve Hopcraft 916/457-5546; [email protected]; Twitter: @shopcraft;  Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla 209/479-2053 [email protected]; Twitter: @RestoretheDelta Tunnels Opponents: Water Export Pumps Have Run Every Single Day During Drought Salmon & Other Fisheries Near Extinction, Federal Hearing Shuts Out Delta Farmers Sacramento, CA- Restore the Delta (RTD), the leading opponents of Gov. Brown’s rush to build massive underground water tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom sustainable farms, salmon and other Pacific fisheries, today responded to testimony given by San Joaquin Valley farm advocates at the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the status of drought conditions throughout the western United States, and also at the Drought Update given to the California State [...]

In case you missed it: Bloomberg, “Save California Farmers From Themselves.”

Bloomberg Save California Farmers From Themselves APR 27, 2015 9:00 AM EDT By Daniel P. Beard You would hope the worsening drought in California would bring out the best in the state’s politicians, particularly those who profess to care about the waste of taxpayers' money. Alas, this isn’t the case when it comes to several important members of California's congressional delegation. Take Kevin McCarthy, the House majority leader, who is using the dire conditions to call for projects to channel water to a select number of politically well-connected farmers. "I'm from the Central Valley," the Republican congressman said, "and we know that we cannot conserve or ration our way out of this drought."  In fact, we don't know this because California hasn't seriously tried [...]

Media alert: Mercury News editorial, “Delta’s health should take priority over pumping”

In case you missed it… Mercury News Editorial POSTED: 02/24/15, 2:47 PM PST    Original article from San Jose Mercury News website here.  California needs to get serious about protecting the health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, one of Silicon Valley's most valuable water sources. The short-term needs of Central Valley farmers are significant. But they pale in comparison with preserving the long-term water quality of the estuary that provides water for two-thirds of the state's residents. California took a significant risk when it waived some environmental protections last year for the Delta in order to pump additional water south to save acres of almond orchards. The results were not pretty. Tom Howard, the executive director of the State Water [...]

Media Alerts of Interest: Coverage of yesterday’s state hearing on Delta water

Media coverage from February 18-19, featuring Restore the Delta and supporters:   News 10, watch or read: Central Valley farmers are demanding access to more water from the Delta Feb. 19, 2015 News10/KXTV "…But, those who campaign under the banner "Restore the Delta" say for them, it's also about the people. "We're talking about the fish because the fish supply more jobs than this small area of California farming," California Water Impact Network lawyer Michael Jackson said. "It's not a matter of fish versus farmer. In this particular circumstance, it's farmer versus farmer."… … However, people who live near the Delta are asking, "what about us?" Those residents worry that as freshwater leaves the Delta, salt water will come in. The state limits how much [...]

News from Restore the Delta: January 19, 2015

“Not every dream grows on every land, so you got to watch out!” — Israelmore Ayivor Articles • What do we want? Water! When do we want it? Now! • California still overachieving at water consumption and underachieving at water conservation • Drought of ideas What do we want? Water! When do we want it? Now! Recently we got an inside peek at a rural Kern County water district’s decision whether to participate in the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. The Tehachapi-Cummings County Water District was asked by Kern County Water Agency, the State Water Project’s second largest water service contractor, whether the District would participate in the Tunnels project or not. In addition to its role as a state water [...]

The type of media work we do: “Drought talk around Thanksgiving table: Farmers versus urbanites” by Steve Scauzillo of San Grabiel Valley Tribune

Drought talk around Thanksgiving table: Farmers versus urbanites By Steve Scauzillo, San Gabriel Valley Tribune POSTED: 11/29/14, 3:00 PM PST Would your Thanksgiving table be ruined if the stuffing or side dishes did not contain almonds? No, of course not, notwithstanding Martha Stewart’s recipe for chorizo-almond stuffing or your sister-in-law’s infamous green beans amandine. Then why are our water policymakers treating the almond farmers like they were producing a life-sustaining staple? In a severe drought, urban users like you and I are asked to cut back on water use, but farmers, who get close to three-quarters of the water pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, don’t have to change their ways. That sums up the main argument from Barbara [...]

News from Restore the Delta: 4/18/2014

We will now discuss in a little more detail the Struggle for Existence. – Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species Articles Hunger and thirst Speaking of BDCP …. 2014 State of Our Rivers Symposium Hunger and thirst By Jane Wagner-Tyack UOP economist Dr. Jeffrey Michael reports in an April 7 blog post that between 2007 and 2012, despite the drought in 2009, San Joaquin Valley agriculture made a clear shift toward permanent crops. Over that period, acreage of field crops (like cotton, hay, grain, and alfalfa) increased by 2 percent. Acreage of fruit and nut crops (like almonds, pistachios and grapes, crops that can’t be fallowed in a dry year) increased by 21 percent. Meanwhile, acreage of vegetable crops decreased [...]

News from Restore the Delta: 2/19/2014

“Go not for every grief to the physician, nor for every quarrel to the lawyer, nor for every thirst to the pot.” – George Herbert So much has happened in the first six weeks of 2014 that anyone may be forgiven for feeling dazed and confused. To help you sort out one thread of events, we’re providing a chronology of drought-related developments, with some details about what is in the various declarations and bills. We’ll leave it to you to see some of the interesting connections. The Bay Delta Conservation Plan has been pushing forward with tightly-structured open houses around the state. Smiling acolytes display glossy foam boards and shiny brochures full of errors, and if you want to make [...]