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Agriculture/ Natural Resources

Ripple Effects — Without the Pond

Throw a pebble into a pond and watch the ripples—well, if only we had a pond. The rain that’s fallen on California in the past several days is certainly a welcome change, but it is not enough to reverse the ripple effects of the drought. Average rainfall and reservoir levels are still well below 50 percent of normal up and down the state. The drought has been so severe it may have already caused damage that can’t be undone no matter how much rain we get now.

Drought Emergency: Quick — DO Something

There is some rain due in Northern California this week, and while it will be a welcome end to a record-breaking streak of winter days with no precipitation, it will not mean an end to the drought. After two previous dry years, and the extremely dry winter we’ve had so far, rivers and reservoirs are [...]

California 2014: H2-Low

Typically when you talk about water in California the only thing people agree on is that it’s wet. Other than that, well, it’s a topic full of opportunities for arguments. This year however, there’s something else most Californians agree on about water: We don’t have nearly enough of it.

Coming on the heels of several relatively dry years, the 2013-14 “wet season” is shaping up to be one of the driest on record. Lakes and reservoirs around the state are well below seasonal norms and the Sierra Snow Pack, California’s “savings account” when it comes to water, is holding only about 20 percent of the normal water content. If it continues, and most long term forecasts indicate it will, the lack of water in California could have severe impact in several different ways.

Conserving Ag Land: Funding the Williamson Act

I grew up on a small “ranch” in Penngrove, Sonoma County, that had two houses for people and about a dozen houses for chickens—over the years, family farming in the poultry industry became less and less profitable and my father got out of the chicken business altogether in the late 1960s. Since then the chicken [...]

Advancing Alternatives to Landfills

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying “waste not want not” and it’s more true today than ever. In fact, these days, even ordinary garbage is too valuable to waste. Or maybe more accurately, simply putting it in a landfill is really too wasteful to be sustainable. Over the past several years, CSAC has been [...]