Was it because of a lack of storage capabilities? Absolutely not! It was because of a fear that if the water were pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta into available storage facilities, it might have killed some of the “Delta Smelt,” a 3-inch fish that happens to be on the U.S. “endangered species list.” Exactly how much water is 700,000 acre-feet? More than 260 billion gallons. And by the Natural Resources Agency’s own admission, it’s “enough to irrigate more than 200,000 acres of farmland or supply 1.4 million households for a year.”
How much better off would we be if we had that 700,000 acre-feet today in storage?
In the coming days/weeks/months, there will be lots of talk about how we can prevent this in the future, and we greatly appreciate the leadership of our Central Valley Legislators in trying to bring national awareness to this issue. We look forward to working with them on both short and long-term solutions. But in the meantime, we are left living with the real-life, painful consequences of a ridiculous federal policy that literally chooses the welfare of a 3-inch fish over that of the human beings that live here.
Water quality funding available for Eastern San Joaquin River
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that $3.5 million is available to California dairy producers east of the San Joaquin River in Merced and Stanislaus counties for water conservation and water quality improvements. This financial assistance is being made available through the Bay Delta Initiative (BDI), which was created in 2011 to help farmers in California’s Central Valley apply enhanced water quality-improvement practices on their land through a multi-year process.
BDI is one of a dozen national initiatives aimed at assisting farmers to put added conservation practices on the ground using a landscape-level approach. Applications are due Feb. 21, 2014. For more information, contact the Merced and Stanislaus County NRCS offices.
Source: Western United Dairymen
California Ag Leadership Program seeks applicants for Class 45
Applications are now being accepted for Class 45 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program. Growers, farmers, ranchers and individuals working in allied businesses and organizations are encouraged to apply.
The Ag Leadership Program, operated by the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF), is considered to be one of the premier leader-ship development experiences in the United States. More than 1,200 men and women have participated in the program and are influential leaders and active volunteers in the agriculture industry, communities and other areas.