Research

www.water.ca.gov/drought/docs/caldrought.pdf

·         California has complex water systems to lessen the  impacts of smaller droughts (short-term)
·         Droughts are a long-term period; the longer the drought, the greater the impact
·         Longer droughts have occurred before the one we are in right now
·         Snowpack, precipitation, storage of the water companies and government are factors that the DWR looks at to determine conditions
·         Water managers were optimistic when February 2008 snowpack was  above average; later in   2008, California experienced and extremely dry spring.
·         Governor Schwarzenegger declared a state-wide drought in June of 2008
·         Sacramento, San Jauquin, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern Counties are in  a state of emergency.
·         First time a state-wide drought has ever been declared in California.
·         Water supply crisis is not only from dry conditions but also from federal court restrictions to protect native fish
·         Droughts longer that 3 years are rare but this is the third year of drought
·         77th driest year in California
·         One year of heavy precipitation could bring average levels, the complex water supply issues will remain.
·         Increase in water for environmental, cutbacks in water supply, increases in population cause problems.
·         Governor Schwarzenegger and Senator Dianne Feinstein proposed bi-partisan plan to update California water system by increasing storage, improving conveyance, promoting water conservation in order to conserve delta ecosystem.
·         Some steps make take a while but other parts of the proposal are already in play.
·         After above-average storage at the end of 2006 (120%), below average 2007 (78%), and nearly half of normal storage in 2008 (57%).  Predicted to improve in 2009 (68%)
·         Almost 2x average runoff in 2006 (172%) to half of average in 2007 (53%) and has been increasing steadily (2008, 60%; 2009, 68%)
·         Estimated 21,000 jobs lost in San Juaquin Valley.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103950335


·         3rd year of drought, farmers only getting a fraction of the water needed
·         Westlands water district, central valley, 2nd largest supplier of nation’s produce, hit hardest.
·         Farmers having to cut down orchards to save water for supporting remaining part of orchards.
·         Many farmers believe that water shortage is state government’s fault since the state cut back about 300,000 acre-feet of water for Westlands to the environment suffering from loss of freshwater “Start the Pumps”
·         Environmentalists say that Westlands area should never have been irrigated in the first place. Vast irrigation project joined last by Westlands.
·         Since Westlands’s was last to join the project, it has the lowest rights [to water],  and some believe the farmers should have  planned accordingly.
·         In Mendota, unemployment rate has hit 40%, people gather in town without work, electricity, phone service or hot water
·         People blame congress for not upholding promise given to them for water.
·         With water, Westlands is a rich farming district, Tom Birmingham, executive director of irrigatins district, determined to stay in current position.
 
www.nytimes.com/2009/02/22/us/22mendota.html

·         Economic crisis experienced by all agriculture deepened by drought especially in Mendota (near Westlands district) where unemployment is 4 times worse than national average causing increase in social issues such as drug abuse, drunkenness, anger, domestic violence.
·         Economists predict that drought this year will cause a loss of $2 Billion, 800,000 jobs
·         Estimated 850,000 acres of farmland went unplanted this year
·         Many loiter in the center of town, without work, in Mendota
·         Threat of “zero allocation” from central valley water project
·         Growing population, environmental concerns, and complex water supply agreements and contracts are worsening conditions.
·         Farmers can use water from wells sold by other farmers
·         With not enough snowpack, conditions will remain bad, more precipitation than current conditions needed to make a strong impact on the drought
·         Environmentalists worried about salmon, about dust-bowl conditions in fallowed areas sucked dry for other fields.
 
www.thebusinessjournal.com/index.php/government/2621-radnovich-water-amendments-fail-in-committee
 
·         Congressman George Radnovich (R-CA) tried to pass two amendments to Bay Area Regional Water recycling program expansion act of 2009.

www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/gleick/detail?entry_id=42731

·         Westland water district will still get 86% of their water and the lowest water shortage is San Lorenzo at 75%
·         Although drought affects unemployed farmers the economic recession is having a devastating effect on agriculture and is being magnified by the drought.
·         Fish needs for fresh water< affecting the court decision to cut some of the water pumped out of the delta, only took about 5% of the California aqueduct’s water; real problems are caused by the complex water system’s steady decline and the dysfunctions of the system has been magnified.
·         Every bit of water matters to the farming community, and even  a small drop in supply (25%) matters

www.usatoday.com/weather/drought/2004-04-22-droughtcalifornia.htm

·         California water ssupplies are being strained as the complex water supply inefficiencies, the complex agreements and the new 3 year drought the state is experiencing.
·         Thought there are new water supply systems that have been set up in the last 50 years (since the installment of the large aqueducts) it has not been equal to the growing population of the state.
·         Thousands of trees are being cut down to avoid spread of disease of dead trees to live orchards to salvage what is left.
·         Fear of fire increases and Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has to “ramp up our fire protection” –Daniel Berlant, Spokesman.