California Lawmakers Seek Groundwater Rights Legislation

  

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

A farmer checks the drip irrigation line in a grove of almond trees on his farm in Firebaugh, California. The entire state was in severe to exceptional drought as of July 8, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture.

CloseCalifornia lawmakers have sent Governor Jerry Brown legislation that would for the first time regulate groundwater use as the most-populous U.S. state suffers from a record drought.

The proposals would require local governments to develop groundwater regulations and give the state the power to step in and enforce restrictions if necessary.

Three years of record low rain and snow have left more than 80 percent of California in extreme drought. With reservoirs at less than half capacity and water supplies to the nation’s most productive agricultural region rationed, well drilling has doubled and even tripled in some counties.

“A critical element of addressing the water challenges facing California involves ensuring a sustainable supply of groundwater,” Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, a Sacramento Democrat, said in a statement yesterday. “Overdrafting our groundwater leads to subsidence and contamination — consequences we cannot afford.”

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-30/california-sets-stage-for-first-groundwater-regulations.html

Four Gallons a Week Water Rationing in Sierra Foothills Community

EAST PORTERVILLE (CBS13) — Hundreds of people in a California town have no water after wells ran dry during the state’s drought.

The small town of East Porterville in Tulare County has about 7,300 residents, and at least 300 homes have been without water for weeks.

“We can’t shower. We’re wearing dirty clothes. My kids had to wear dirty clothes to school this morning,” said Elizabeth Baker. “I had to go across the street last night to get water for my kids from the fire department.”

The county set up a 5,000-gallon water tank for residents to help with flushing toilets and irrigation, but now drinking water is the problem. They had to distribute more than 15,000 gallons of drinking water last week.

There are fears the problem could be even worse as people believe some people aren’t reporting their wells have gone dry out of fear their landlords will evict them, or their children will be taken away. In fact, the county didn’t know how dire the problem was until they were tipped off by a nonprofit group.

Read more:http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2014/08/27/porterville-residents-without-water-as-wells-go-dry-during-california-drought/

California Gun Waiting Period Laws Ruled Unconstitutional

on August 25, 2014 in Press Releases

Federal court decides 10-day waiting period laws violate Second Amendment rights

ROSEVILLE, CA, and BELLEVUE, WA / August 25, 2014 – California’s 10-day waiting period for gun purchases was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge this morning in a significant victory for Second Amendment civil rights. The laws were challenged by California gun owners Jeffrey Silvester and Brandon Combs, as well as two gun rights groups, The Calguns Foundation and Second Amendment Foundation.

In the decision released this morning, Federal Eastern District of California Senior Judge Anthony W. Ishii, appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton, found that “the 10-day waiting periods of Penal Code [sections 26815(a) and 27540(a)] violate the Second Amendment” as applied to members of certain classifications, like Silvester and Combs, and “burdens the Second Amendment rights of the Plaintiffs.”

“This is a great win for Second Amendment civil rights and common sense,” said Jeff Silvester, the named individual plaintiff. “I couldn’t be happier with how this case turned out.”

Under the court order, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) must change its systems to accommodate the unobstructed release of guns to gun buyers who pass a background check and possess a California license to carry a handgun, or who hold a “Certificate of Eligibility” issued by the DOJ and already possess at least one firearm known to the state.

Read more: http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/2014/08/california-gun-waiting-period-laws-ruled-unconstitutional/

Gov. Jerry Brown to Mexican Illegals: ‘You’re All Welcome in California’

On Monday evening, California Governor Jerry Brown said all Mexicans, including illegal immigrants, are welcome in California.

According to the Los Angeles Times, while introducing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who said America is “the other Mexico,” Brown “spoke about the interwoven histories of Mexico and California.” He “nodded to the immigrants in the room, saying it didn’t matter if they had permission to be in the United States.”

“You’re all welcome in California,” Brown reportedly said.

Brown has made California a sanctuary state by signing the Trust Act, giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. He has also expanded financial aid to illegal immigrants by signing the California DREAM Act. Peña Nieto reportedly “thanked state officials for embracing foreigners, citing measures that extend state benefits to immigrants.”

Even during the border crisis, Brown reportedly vowed “to find ways to shorten long waits at the Tijuana-San Diego international border crossing,” saying, “If we can put a man on the moon, we can put a man from Mexico to California in 20 minutes.”

Read more: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/08/26/Jerry-Brown-to-Mexican-Illegals-You-re-All-Welcome-in-CA

Drought Conditions Create Sierra Uplift

The ongoing drought in the western United States has caused so much loss of groundwater that the Earth, on average, has lifted up about 0.16 inches over the last 18 months, according to a new study.

The situation was even worse in the snow-starved mountains of California, where the earth rose 0.6 inches.

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“We found it most severe in California, particularly in the Sierras,” said co-author Duncan Agnew, professor of geophysics at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography. “It’s predominately in the Coast Ranges and the Sierras showing the most uplift, and hence, that’s where we believe is the largest water loss.”

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-63-trillion-gallons-of-groundwater-lost-in-drought-study-finds-20140821-story.html

 

California’s Economic Collision Course: Immigration and Water

Thomas Del Beccaro

You have heard it before: “As California goes, so goes the nation.”  If that is the case, the national economy will be harmed for decades to come because of California’s misplaced priorities today.  Indeed, by emphasizing high-speed rail over water and failing to deal with its debt crisis, California poses a long-term threat to our national economy and is on an economic collision course of increased immigration and lack of water.

California has more than 38 million residents. Despite net losses of millions of residents to other states, California continues to grow through immigration.  Latinos now equal the number of non-Hispanic whites in California.  With projections that show California’s population reaching 45 to 50 million within 20 years, you would think job creation would be job one for Jerry Brown.

Sadly, that is not the case today.  Despite a much-heralded recovery in the media and by Governor Jerry Brown, California still has one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates.  Also, more than 30% of the nation’s welfare recipients are Californians – even though California has just 12% of the nation’s population.  It is not surprising, therefore, that California is ranked number one in poverty.

The cause for those bad statistics is bad government policy.  California is the most regulated, highest-taxed, most in-debt state in America.  According to government data, from the municipal to the state level, California governments have more than $1.1 trillion in debt – much of that tied to pensions.

Read more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasdelbeccaro/2014/08/19/calfiornias-economic-collision-course-immigration-and-water/

West’s historic drought stokes fears of water crisis

NASA images show drought turning California brown.

 

“…aquifers are emptying so quickly that the land itself is subsiding.”

August 17 at 7:21 PM

When the winter rains failed to arrive in this Sacramento Valley town for the third straight year, farmers tightened their belts and looked to the reservoirs in the nearby hills to keep them in water through the growing season.

When those faltered, some switched on their well pumps, drawing up thousands of gallons from underground aquifers to prevent their walnut trees and alfalfa crops from drying up. Until the wells, too, began to fail.

Now, across California’s vital agricultural belt, nervousness over the state’s epic drought has given way to alarm. Streams and lakes have long since shriveled up in many parts of the state, and now the aquifers — always a backup source during the region’s periodic droughts — are being pumped away at rates that scientists say are both historic and unsustainable.

One state-owned well near Sacramento registered an astonishing 100-foot drop in three months as the water table, strained by new demand from farmers, homeowners and municipalities, sank to a record low. Other wells have simply dried up, in such numbers that local drilling companies are reporting backlogs of six to eight months to dig a new one.

In still other areas, aquifers are emptying so quickly that the land itself is subsiding, like cereal in a bowl after the milk has drained out.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/2014/08/17/d5c84934-240c-11e4-958c-268a320a60ce_story.html