Monday, October 1, 2007

In the news this week: Water

The local news sources have been all aflutter with water news this week and how shortages and drought are going to affect area farmers. Here's what they've been saying:

Growers may face 30% cut in water: San Diego Union-Tribune kindly was the "fly on the wall" that I couldn't be at last Thursday's Ag Outlook 2008. Almost 500 farmers, ranchers, and nursery owners showed up to learn what they will need to do to prepare for next year's potential water shortage. Eric Larson, San Diego Farm Bureau executive director, spoke about the open ended water restrictions which will likely start in January depending on drought conditions on the Colorado River and the smelt protection issue in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Restrictions may stay in place for several years. Citrus and avocado growers, who receive a discount on water costs in return for being first in line for mandatory cutbacks, will be affected first. (Related stories: San Diego County Growers May Face Mandatory Water Cuts Next Year, SoCal’s Main Water Supplier Warns Farmers to Prepare for Cuts, and Water dearth could have ripple effect)

La Nina forecast: No relief for area: According to this article, La Niña, the oceanic phenomenon that almost always brings a dry winter to Southern California, appears inevitable. If La Niña actually occurs, it could be San Diego County's third straight dry year – the ninth out of 10, supposedly. Noel Stehly, a Valley Center avocado grower, is already taking steps to conserve water "by stumping trees, revamping irrigation systems and adding mulch."

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