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State Water Project

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
The State Water Project, which helps supply a majority of Californians, will make small deliveries this year, officials said Friday as they increased the system's allocation to 5% from the historic zero announced in January. February and March storms in Northern California raised the levels of the state's two largest reservoirs enough to allow federal water managers to also significantly boost deliveries to wildlife refuges and irrigation districts with the most senior water rights in the Sacramento Valley.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
The State Water Project, which helps supply a majority of Californians, will make small deliveries this year, officials said Friday as they increased the system's allocation to 5% from the historic zero announced in January. February and March storms in Northern California raised the levels of the state's two largest reservoirs enough to allow federal water managers to also significantly boost deliveries to wildlife refuges and irrigation districts with the most senior water rights in the Sacramento Valley.
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NEWS
December 2, 1988 | From a Times Staff Writer
As the California drought heads into a third year, State Water Project operators on Tuesday tentatively ordered water deliveries to agricultural customers cut by 40% from the amounts farmers had requested. In the first of a series of forecasts made during the winter months, the state Department of Water Resources estimated that the project would deliver 2.5 million acre-feet of water in 1989. An acre-foot of water is enough to cover 1 acre of land to a depth of 1 foot.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
Officials announced Tuesday that they are temporarily waiving an endangered species protection to enable water managers to send more Northern California water south. The move comes as fishery agencies are under increasing political pressure to take advantage of late winter storms and ramp up pumping from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the center of the state's water distribution system. Mark Cowin, director of the state Department of Water Resources, said the rule suspension would remain in effect for the next week or two and would increase delta exports by as much as 10,000 acre-feet a day. An acre-foot is equivalent to a year's water supply for two households.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 27, 1992 | PEGGY Y. LEE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The state's top water official assured Ventura residents on Wednesday that the State Water Project offers a dependable supply of water, but said he could make no guarantees about how much water the city would get if it builds a pipeline to hook into the project. "I think of the State Water Project as a very reliable supply," said David Kennedy, director of the California Department of Water Resources in Sacramento. But no one could have foreseen the worst drought on record, he said.
NEWS
February 1, 1991 | KEVIN RODERICK and VIRGINIA ELLIS, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
With a snow survey Thursday confirming near-record dry conditions, California has come face to face with its most severe drought crisis in modern times--a scenario that the massive state Water Project conceived in the 1950s was supposed to prevent. The project cost more than $2.5 billion to build, threw up dams across wild rivers in Northern California and today gulps more electric power than any city.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 26, 2004 | Daryl Kelley, Times Staff Writer
Environmental groups are rallying against a plan to cede some operations of the massive State Water Project to local water wholesalers as part of a broad restructuring of state government being considered by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The governor is expected to signal next month his support, or rejection, of many of the 1,200 recommendations in a proposed top-to-bottom overhaul of the California bureaucracy.
NEWS
February 28, 1992 | CARL INGRAM, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Gov. Pete Wilson announced Thursday that he will seek negotiations with the Bush Administration for California to take over the federal government's vast Central Valley Project irrigation system and merge it with the state's water system. The governor said he will appoint a team of representatives to start negotiations with officials of the Bush Administration with the goal of reaching an agreement "within six months."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 31, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
Officials Friday said that for the first time ever, the State Water Project that helps supply a majority of Californians may be unable to make any deliveries except to maintain public health and safety. The prospect of no deliveries from one of the state's key water systems underscores the depth of a drought that threatens to be the worst in California's modern history. But the practical effect is less stark because most water districts have other sources, such as local storage and groundwater, to turn to. Officials stressed that the cut did not mean faucets would run dry. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the state project's largest customer, has said it has enough supplies in reserve to get the Southland through this year without mandatory rationing.
NEWS
February 8, 1991 | JENIFER WARREN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
If this were a normal February, you'd find Don Elholm out west of here on his farm in Lost Hills, irrigating alfalfa and painstakingly preparing the hard, brown Kern County earth for another year's cotton crop. Instead, he's at home at the kitchen table, smoking cigarette after cigarette, trying not to fret about the future. "Can't plant," Elholm, 51 and a third-generation San Joaquin Valley farmer said, looking down at hands callused by three decades in the field. "No water, no crop.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 2014 | Tony Perry
Thomas Cox, a third-generation Imperial Valley farmer, is driving his pickup along the gravel roads that separate large fields of lettuce, broccoli, onions and wheat. The discussion turns, as it often does in the Imperial Valley, to water. "Without water," said Cox, 27, "our ground would be useless. " But with copious amounts of water, the Cox family and others have turned half a million acres of desert into one of the most bountiful farming regions in the world -- a fact unchanged by the drought gripping much of California.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
A court ruling issued Wednesday could throw up obstacles to operation of a Kern County groundwater bank that has helped billionaire Stewart Resnick build a nut empire in the southern San Joaquin Valley. In the latest development in a two-decade legal fight, a Sacramento County Superior Court judge found that the state Department of Water Resources didn't properly analyze the environmental impacts of the Kern Water Bank, which is partly controlled by Resnick's Paramount Farms enterprise.
SCIENCE
February 21, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
Central Valley growers Friday got the grim news they have been expecting for months. Most of them will get no water from the big federal irrigation project that supplies 3 million acres of California farm land. Citing the state's severe drought, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced an initial water allocation of zero for most contractors of the sprawling Central Valley Project. That could change. There is a month of winter left and storms on the Northern California horizon could boost reservoir levels, allowing reclamation to deliver more water.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 31, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
Officials Friday said that for the first time ever, the State Water Project that helps supply a majority of Californians may be unable to make any deliveries except to maintain public health and safety. The prospect of no deliveries from one of the state's key water systems underscores the depth of a drought that threatens to be the worst in California's modern history. But the practical effect is less stark because most water districts have other sources, such as local storage and groundwater, to turn to. Officials stressed that the cut did not mean faucets would run dry. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the state project's largest customer, has said it has enough supplies in reserve to get the Southland through this year without mandatory rationing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 31, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
Officials Friday said that for the first time ever, the State Water Project that helps supply a majority of Californians may be unable to make any deliveries except to maintain public health and safety.  They also said they were cutting releases from large reservoirs in the northern part of the state to preserve supplies in the face of what could be the worst drought in modern California history. “It's about holding back water so we've got it tomorrow,” said Chuck Bonham, director of the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 27, 2013 | By Bettina Boxall
As 2013 draws to a close, it is headed for the record books as the driest year in downtown Los Angeles since 1877, when official measurements began. Only 3.60 inches have fallen at the National Weather Service station at USC since Jan. 1, about half an inch less than was recorded in 1953 and 1947, which until now had tied for the lowest rainfall. With sun, sun and more sun in the forecast for the remaining few days of the year, meteorologists say there is virtually no chance of wet weather to undo the new record.
BUSINESS
August 18, 2010 | Michael Hiltzik
Students of California's history of gold and oil rushes know it's filled with examples of profiteering, conspiracy, influence-peddling and other chicanery. So there's no reason the story should be any different with that liquid gold of the 21st century, water. That's the theme of a lawsuit filed a few weeks ago alleging there's something smelly about how a group of private interests — notably a huge agribusiness owned by the wealthy Southern California couple Stewart and Lynda Resnick — got control of an underground water storage project the state had already spent $75 million to develop.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 19, 2003 | Mark Arax, Times Staff Writer
The Kern River, dry as bone, meets Interstate 5 on an expanse of land no longer tamed by agriculture. The last stand of cotton was plowed under a decade ago, and now tumbleweeds hide jackrabbits and coyotes. But cotton's white gold has given way to new riches stored deep below the ground. That's where 730,000 acre-feet of water -- a lake worth more than $180 million on the open market -- awaits the pump.
OPINION
November 5, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Owensmouth Avenue runs just to the east of Canoga Park High School, over the spot where Bell Creek and Arroyo Calabasas join to form the Los Angeles River. The whole area was once called Owensmouth, named by Los Angeles Times Publisher Harrison Gray Otis and others who had bought up San Fernando Valley land with the knowledge that its value would increase when it became, in essence, the new mouth of the Owens River, a sparkling torrent of Eastern Sierra snowmelt that gathered and dried up in a shallow desert lake but would soon flow to farms and homes in the growing city hundreds of miles to the southwest.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 22, 2013 | By Bettina Boxall
Of the many issues hanging over the proposal to burrow enormous tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and replumb the hub of California's water system, the one most likely to make or break the $25-billion project is money. Just who, exactly, is going to pay for it? The San Joaquin Valley irrigation districts and urban water agencies in Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area that get water supplies from the delta have promised to pick up most of the tab, with federal and state taxpayers paying the rest.
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