Selected California commentaries: San Joaquin County Supervisor on the BDCP, McClinktock on H.R. 3964, the “other California” and more …

Bay Delta Conservation Plan is wrong for California, says Larry Ruhstaller:  The San Joaquin County Supervisor (& more) writes in the Stockton Record: ” … Even though it seems like the tunnel plan has been placed on the back burner, unfortunately the governor hasn’t taken the BDCP off the stove just yet. In the face of immense public pressure and the failure to circulate the implementing agreement, the state at least felt compelled to issue a notice to extend the period for public comment another 60 days.  However, whether folks have 120 days or 180 days to review this pile of nonsense, nothing will change the public mindset about this boondoggle of a plan. … It’s time for the administration and others to accept the obvious and admit that the BDCP is the wrong water strategy for California … ”  Read the full commentary here:  California Water Action Plan is wrong for state

McClintock discusses H.R. 3964 and water storage:  “California’s drought is NATURE’S fault. Our failure to prepare for it is OUR fault.  In California, the Democrats have not only obstructed the construction of new dams for the past 35 years, they’ve also actively sought to tear down existing dams.  They have substituted conservation for desperately needed storage, and now that we face drought, we find our meager reservoirs are empty and we’ve already exhausted our conservation option.  Worse, in the first years of this drought, 1.6 million acre feet of water was dumped into the Pacific Ocean for the care and amusement of the Delta Smelt, when that water was desperately needed to support the threatened human population. That water was taken from Central Valley farmers who now face extinction. … ”  Read more from My MotherLode here:  McClintock Discusses California Water Bill

Need to reassess San Joaquin River Restoration, says the Fresno Bee:  ” … in response to a question about the feasibility of San Joaquin River restoration, Feinstein broke new ground. Restoration efforts, she said, “have been more difficult and more expensive” than were originally forecast.  It is time, in light of climate change, Feinstein said, to “reassess” the $2 billion plan that would revive salmon runs on the San Joaquin by rebuilding the 153-mile stretch between Friant Dam and where the Merced River empties into the San Joaquin. … ”  Read the complete editorial from the Fresno Bee here: A second look at restoration

Long time Central Valley grower discusses the “other California”: When Americans think of California, they tend to think of Silicon Valley, Hollywood and the golden coast—”a place where the grass is really greener, warm, wet and wild” as Santa Barbara native Katy Perry swoons in “California Gurls.” Or they think of the liberals and environmentalists who dominate state government.  Yet there’s another California, set back from the left coast, in the abundantly fertile Central Valley, which produces half of America’s fruits and vegetables; more than 98% of its almonds, pistachios and walnuts; a third of U.S. dairy exports—and Trader Joe’s Two Buck Chuck wine. This California has come under siege from the California of politicians and regulators, a siege that has been especially harmful during the current prolonged period of drought and water shortages. The storms that hit the state a couple of weeks ago didn’t make a dent in the water shortfall or in the farmers’ larger problems.  Just ask Mark Watte, a second-generation dairyman and nut grower from rural Tulare, who doesn’t mince words. ... ”  Read more from the Wall Street Journal here:  How the Other California Lives

Brown’s deal with Israel good for both California & Israel: Jeanine Zacharia writes in the San Francisco Chroncile that due to Israel’s parched landscape,  ” … Israel had no choice but to innovate. Despite sparse rainfall, the country now leads the world in water reclamation, reusing between 75 and 90 percent of its water, by varied official estimates. The next closest is Spain at a little more than 20 percent. California, where the vast majority of water goes to agriculture, recycles only about 13 percent.  California officials appear reticent to encourage or mandate water conservation on a serious scale. In Israel, it’s a national ethos. Every child learns the Hebrew slogan: Tachsoch ba’tipah – “Don’t waste a drop.”  That attitude might start to rub off here now that Israel and California have signed a deal to bolster Israel’s cooperation with California in fields including water conservation. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Brown’s deal with Israel good for California – and vice versa

Climate analyst clarifies the science behind California’s water woes:  Andrew Revkin writes in the New York Times Opinion Pages:  “There’s no question that residents of California and much of the West face a collision between high water demands driven by growth and outdated policies and a limited and highly variable water supply.  But that reality hasn’t stopped heated arguments from springing up in recent days over the cause or causes of California’s continuing epic drought. Is one of the drivers the growing human influence on the climate? Or is this drought something we’ve seen before, the result of natural variability?  In the wake of an unusual public debate on this issue between President Obama’s science adviser, John Holdren, and Roger Pielke, Jr., a longtime analyst of climate-related disaster losses at the University of Colorado, I received a helpful note from Martin Hoerling, who studies climate extremes for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. … “  Continue reading at the New York Times here:  A Climate Analyst Clarifies the Science Behind California’s Water Woes

A drought of our own making:  Farmer Bill Diedrich writes: ” … The water delivery system in California was designed for one purpose: “To deliver water to arid lands of the West.” The dreamers, planners and designers could never have imagined how successful it would be! We literally feed the world. The nation reaps tremendous economic benefits and safe, healthy food from the activity generated by this water system. This is good.  However, those folks were so intent on harnessing flood and irrigation water for the well-being of farms, families and factories that they neglected to adequately consider the potential detriment to certain anadromous fish species.… “  Read more from the Fresno Bee here:  Drought of our own making

Drought if farmer’s “ah hah” moment on environmentalism:  Columnist Don Curlee minces no words in this commentary:  “If California farmers needed an “ah-hah moment” to reveal the evils of environmentalism the current drought has surely provided it. Years of decisions by politicians and bureaucrats to send millions of acre feet of water through the Delta and out to the ocean in a foolish effort to protect worthless fish has wasted water that could have been stored and later used to ease the disastrous drought.  But the revelation goes far beyond the Delta, the drought and dimwitted politicians to the very sounding point of the disastrous environmental movement. … “  Read more from the Western Farm Press here:  Drought is farmers’ ‘ah-hah’ moment on environmentalism