Agriculture

April 30, 2015--$8bn habitat conservation plan scrapped as California prioritises agribusiness (Guardian)

For the past eight years, California politicians, utility companies, farmers and environmentalists have been arguing over the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). Environmental groups are now speaking out after recent announcements that the conservation part of the plan has been shelved.


April 29, 2015--New Colorado water rights transfer allows farmers to irrigate, then profit by leaving water in the stream (Steamboat Today)

The Colorado Water Trust and a state water agency have unveiled a creative new way for agricultural water rights holders to be compensated for sharing their water to meet conservation goals. The Water Trust is the same not-for-profit conservation organization that facilitated healthy flows in the Steamboat town stretch of the Yampa River during the drought seasons of 2012 and 2013.


April 24, 2015--Oil and gas drilling is consuming millions of acres of US farmland: Study (International Business Times)

As oil and gas drilling ramps up in the central U.S. and Canada, the region is losing an increasing amount of cropland, ranches and forests to industrial activities. In recent years, huge swaths of the Great Plains have given way to well sites, oil pads, parking lots and gravel roads that service the energy industry, researchers say.


April 24, 2015--Colorado River water shortage: Rural areas would be hit harder than cities (Casa Grande Dispatch)

Arizona’s communities, industries, mines and Native American tribes aren’t likely to be affected during the next five years if federal officials declare a shortage on the Colorado River, officials said Wednesday.


April 18, 2015--Booming cities, taxed rivers, and tumbleweeds frame Colorado's water plans (Colorado Public Radio)

On a recent Friday, farmer Dale Mauch climbed down into a dry ditch of the Fort Lyon Canal, which feeds Arkansas River water to his farm. He explained that two days ago, this ditch in Prowers County was clear of weeds. Then a cold front moved in. “In 10 minutes, it can do this,” he said, standing near tumbleweeds that come up to his chest.


April 18, 2015--Dry wells plague California as drought has water tables plunging (Bloomberg Business)

Near California’s Success Lake, more than 1,000 water wells have failed. Farmers are spending $750,000 to drill 1,800 feet down to keep fields from going fallow. Makeshift showers have sprouted near the church parking lot.


April 14, 2015--California’s rainless summer will dry up drinking water supplies (Circle of Blue)

Communities in California’s seared Central Valley and arid mountain foothills are expected to end this year’s rainless summer with drinking water supplies so tight they may give out by September, according to state and local water administrators.


April 13, 2015--The real reason Californians can't water their lawns (Bloomberg Business)

In response to the ongoing drought, California Governor Jerry Brown has set limits on urban water use—ordering cuts of as much as 25 percent. Cities across the state will stop watering highway median strips and rip up grass in public places. Golf courses and cemeteries will turn on the sprinklers less frequently, and water rates might rise.


April 8, 2015--One solution to California's drought: Tax water (Christian Science Monitor)

California desperately needs its residents and businesses to use less water. So rather than trying to curb water use through a complex maze of regulation, why not just raise the price though a new state-wide tax on all users? The idea is straight out of Economics 101: If you want people to do less of something, raise the price.

April 8, 2015--Water wars in California: Factory farms draining the state dry (Huff Post)

California Governor Jerry Brown has been talking tough about California's growing drought crisis. In January he declared a state of emergency saying, "I'm calling on all Californians to conserve water in every way possible," and just last week he announced that we are "in a new era" of drought severity.


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