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Orchard Management 
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Coping with Less Water
Managing Meager Water Supplies
Water Sources and Infrastructure

California’s Water—A Challenge
for the Future

Life in California has always been about who has access to water, thus having an adequate water supply infrastructure was and is key to California’s economic stability and success. In recent years factors such as an aging and inadequate storage and delivery system, several years of drought, and legal rulings that limit water availability have diminished the state’s capacity to deliver the water needed for a growing population and a thriving agricultural community.

To solve the water infrastructure and demand, issues will require political will to either make changes in water supply systems and/or water demand. As this is a long-term effort, short term efforts are under way to keep California Almond growers productive.

Ag water use efficiency workshop set for July 20, 2011 

A workshop looking at the current trends and conditions of agricultural water use efficiency will be held by the State Water Resources Control Board on July 20 in Sacramento. (Click here to download the agenda). The informal workshop will include presentations and panels of experts and practitioners to explore the state of California’s agricultural water use efficiency and the future outlook for further efficiency. The Department of Water Resources estimates that 9.2 million acres of farmland are irrigated with approximately 42.2 million acre-feet of water, representing approximately 75% of California’s developed water. Expected to be discussed at the workshop is the controversial report (click here to download the report) issued earlier this year by Delta Watermaster Craig Wilson in which he outlined the “reasonable use” doctrine. Wilson recommends that the State Board employ this doctrine to promote agricultural water use efficiency. The doctrine states a water right does not include the right to waste water and mandates that “the water resources of the state be put to beneficial use.” A small percentage of increased agricultural water use efficiency adds up to significant water savings in California, according to Wilson. The report recommends that the state board convene a “Reasonable Use Summit” to develop specific actions to improve efficiency and create a “Reasonable Use Unit” within the Division of Water Rights. 

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