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San Joaquin Valley Drought Tracking

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San Joaquin Valley Drought - Tracking the issues

Assessing the Drought: 


Urgent: State Water Resources Control Board Hearing, February 18 in Sacramento.

This just in from Congressional House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy… a bicameral, bipartisan letter requesting the State Water Resources Control Board reverse the decision of its Executive Director to deny the Projects’ request to more equitably share limited fresh water outflow into the Pacific Ocean.  The following statement also encourages others to express similar support.


“The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources submitted a Temporary Urgency Change Petition (TUCP) to the California State Water Resources Control Board (the State Board) on January 23rd to revise certain standards in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to allow increased pumping to send more water, including from recent storms in the northern part of the state, to the Valley given the drought  crisis.


Unfortunately, the initial decision by the State Board’s executive director last week rejected the important part of the TUCP that would have allowed increased pumping because of concerns about impacts to smelt and salmon.  Congressman McCarthy strongly feels this was the wrong decision, particularly given Federal and state fish agencies (i.e. the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife) all supported the TUCP, including the provisions to allow increased pumping.  Accordingly, attached is a letter Reps. McCarthy, Valadao, Nunes, Calvert, Denham, Costa, and Senator Feinstein sent to State Board Chair Felicia Marcus demanding that the State Board reverse their executive director’s decision and approve the TUCP in full to allow increased pumping.  The letter was sent today and we hope the State Board takes action on our request.


If you want to express similar support for the TUCP and increased pumping levels, you can contact the Board at 916-341-5616, by email at, or in person at a February 18th meeting.”



July 15, 2014:  State Water Board considers more water cutbacks -- The State Water Resources Control Board will consider emergency regulations today that would place prohibitions on wasteful activities such as excessively watering a lawn in a manner that causes runoff, cleaning a car with a hose that has no shutoff valve, and washing down hard surfaces like driveways and sidewalks. Under the new rules, violators could be fined up $500 per day.  Capitol Alert; AP article


State implements drought information website and weekly briefing

To visit the California Drought website Click Here. Then scroll down to view the current and archived weekly drought briefings available on the right side of the page.


The California Drought- Pacific Institute


U.S. Drought Monitor Maps

from the National Drought Mitigation Center updates drought maps weekly such as the one to the right of this page


Scientists forecast economic impacts of the drought on Central Valley agriculture - Link to UC Davis article introducing the following report:  Preliminary 2014 Drought Economic Impact Estimates in Central Valley Agriculture

Prepared for California Department of Food and Agriculture, 5/19/14


One Voice Letters to Congress:

April 15, 2014 Letter to US Senate and House of Representatives

May 2, 2014 Letters requesting support of S. 2198 (Feinstein-Boxer) to  5 US Senators


Fresno COG Press Releases on the letters to Congress:

Press Release - Fresno COG votes on letter, 4/24/14


News articles:

Senate passes California Drought Relief Bill, Fresno Bee, 5/23/14

Drought could cost Central Valley farms $1.7 billion and 14,500 jobs, LA Times Science Now, 5/20/14

In California, Climate Issues Moved to Fore by Governor, New York Times, 5/19/14

Sneeze, wheeze, allergies: Valley's drought making it worse, Fresno Bee, 4/17/2014


Congressional efforts:

U.S. Senate's Emergency Drought Relief Act, passed 5/22/14 - www.feinstein.senate.gov_public_index.pdf

     Senator Feinstein's website

H.R. 3964, the Sacramento - San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act, passed 2/5/14 - 2_5_14_ca_water_passage.pdf

     Committee on Natural Resources website


Local Relief efforts:

Fresno County Drought Relief Coalition - Drought Relief Coalition Flyer

Currently providing essential emergency drought relief services in these initial cities: Firebaugh, Huron, Mendota, San Joaquin

Food Bank and USDA food distribution

Free transit to distribution sites provided by Fresno County Rural Transit Agency

Color coded July, August and September schedule - pdf file

Times and locations for each event will be published as soon as they are available.


State of California Links:

Governor’s Proclamation of Drought Emergency
State’s Water Conservation Campaign, Save our Water
Local Government Clearinghouse and Toolkit
California Department of Food and Agriculture, Drought information
California Department of Water Resources Current Water Conditions
California Data Exchange Center, Snow Pack/Water Levels
California State Water Resources Control Board, Water Rights, Drought Info and Actions
California Natural Resources Agency, Drought Info and Actions
California Department of Public Health, Drinking Water CDPH Drinking Water Program
California State Water Project, Information
USDA Drought Designations by County CA County Designations
USDA Disaster and Drought Assistance Information USDA Programs
Small Business Administration Disaster Support:

Topical Information and links:

View Links to assistance programs, health care services, employment services, emergency needs referrals and programs for farmers, ranchers and other businesses.

Read more here: Bee



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Fax: (559) 233-9645


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