Drought: California farms destroy crops rather than pay for water

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Photo: Stuart Woolf stands near piles of almond tree wood chips that will get spread out on the his ranch. Caroline Champlin

When Stuart Woolf was growing up on his dad’s ranch in Huron, California, he never liked working the tomato harvest.

“I thought, ‘I am never going to do this.’ Everything was kind of wet, hot and stinky,” Woolf said.

These days, though, now as president of the 20,000-acre … [more…]

Farmers Hijack Community Water Access Despite Groundwater Act, Activists Say | KCET

When a fire started on the property next door to Ray Cano’s home, the neighbors used Cano’s hose and well to fight the flames. Running the pump at full throttle, they managed to control the blaze until the fire department arrived. Then, the well’s pump sputtered to a stop.

Cano later called a well inspector, who did some basic probing and discovered the problem: The well had run dry, causing … [more…]

Raised in Rice Fields

Snow geese erupt against a blue sky trimmed with fresh, white clouds. The air is so clear you can see for miles, east to the distant peaks of the Sierra Nevada and west to the gentle slopes of the Coast Ranges. But Carson Jeffres and Jacob Katz are less interested in the view above them than the one at their feet. Standing knee-deep in a flooded field at Knaggs Ranch, … [more…]

California and Water: Half Environmental Nightmare, Half Remarkable Success Story

California and Water: Half Environmental Nightmare, Half Remarkable Success Story

THE DREAMT LAND
Chasing Water and Dust Across California

By Mark Arax
Reported by J. Steven Young

When delegates to the second International Irrigation Congress convened in Los Angeles in October 1893, pessimism about their mission was not supposed to be on the agenda. The gathering, after all, was meant to encourage reclamation of arid lands throughout the American West, using irrigation to transform an immense wasteland into an agriculturally … [more…]

U.S. drinking water supply mostly safe, but that’s not good enough

The US drinking water supply is mostly safe, but that’s not good enough

Most Americans take clean drinking water for granted as a convenience of modern life. The United States has one of the world’s safest drinking water supplies, but new challenges constantly emerge.

For example, on May 6 researchers at the nonprofit Environmental Working Group and Northeastern University reported that 43 states have sites where water is contaminated with toxic fluorinated compounds known as PFAS. And many farm workers in California’s Central … [more…]