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In the rich farmland of the San Joaquin Valley it’s summertime — peak growing season for many crops. But every sunbaked, scorching day brings another test of water reserves in a region running on empty.

The dearth of irrigation water from rivers or reservoirs has forced growers in the valley 80 miles north of Los Angeles to rely almost entirely on water pumped from wells.
 
“I’m worried from a couple of standpoints,” said grower Stuart Woolf, as he stood in a field of tomatoes at harvest time.  “One, I’m worried that we just flat run out of groundwater.”
 
Some growers have already taken draconian steps to deal with the reality that they don’t have enough water for all their crops. Near Fresno, Shawn Stevenson bulldozed a third of his orange grove.
 

By: Alex Breitler, Record

Often mistaken for a drainage ditch, Stockton’s humble Calaveras River has potential to aid in the recovery of threatened Central Valley steelhead, a federal fish agency said Tuesday.

Measures to help Calaveras steelhead are part of a much broader “recovery plan” released Tuesday by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The document was described as a “road map” to restore not only steelhead but also imperiled salmon up and down the Valley.

Click here to read more at Recordnet.com

Every now and then, something really good is done for our river and for our fish. Please take a few minutes to watch this fantastic video about recent improvement to the lower Calaveras River: http://youtu.be/6XKvWI4JT5QIt features FLCR’s two hardest working volunteers: Donnie Ratcliff of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Jim Marsh, naturalist/artist/educator extraordinaire. Share this link with anyone who would like a little good news about our environment!

Starting next month, millions of young California salmon could be migrating to the ocean in tanker trucks instead of swimming downstream in the Sacramento River.

On Monday, state and federal wildlife officials announced a plan to move hatchery-raised salmon by truck in the event the state’s ongoing drought makes the Sacramento River and its tributaries inhospitable for the fish. They fear the rivers could become too shallow and warm to sustain salmon trying to migrate to sea on their own.

Shrunken habitat could deplete food supply for the young fish, and make them easier prey for predators. It also would make the water warmer, which can be lethal to salmon.

 

sjcrs

The continuing disappearance of Earth’s last healthy ecosystems, on land and in the oceans, is sadly no longer news. What is news is that saving these ecosystems is affordable and even profitable. An investor-driven approach to conservation finance has the potential to preserve these vital areas, and with them the planet’s natural capital stock of clean air, fresh water and species diversity.

Conservation finance represents an undeveloped private sector investment opportunity of major proportion. Our research suggests private investors—wealthy individuals, pension funds and other institutional investors and even mainstream retail investors—could supply as much as $200 billion to $300 billion per year needed to preserve the world’s most important ecosystems, ranging from the Borneo rainforest in Malaysia and Indonesia to the African Rift lake system of Rwanda and Uganda.

Click here to read more at www.ssireview.org

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