Another Dry Year in Store for California Farmers & Ranchers
California is facing its fourth year of severe drought conditions. January snowpack measurement at Echo Summit
was 12% of normal. Statewide measurements are 25% of historical averages. These numbers paint a dismal picture for
all water users. It is evident that agriculture irrigators will need to plan for another summer of reduced water allocations.
Different types of water rights are defined in the California Code. Local appropriative surface water rights are based on
an adjudication and priority system and enforced by a water master. A new Water Master has been hired for Sierra Valley
and will be available at the next Sierra Valley RCD meeting to answer questions for the upcoming irrigation season.
All irrigators are invited to attend the SVRCD Board Meeting on March 12th at the Sierraville Ranger District. The
meeting begins at noon and the Water Master introduction is scheduled for 2:00 pm.
Drought years create hardships for ranchers and livestock producers. Reduced forage production resulting from lack
of water will likely require implementation of alternative management practices. Water use efficiency, ground water
recharge and water quality impacts are all important considerations for farm and ranch managers during times of drought.
Plumas-Sierra UCCE: http://ucce-plumas-sierra.ucanr.edu/
UC Davis Rangeland Watershed Laboratory
California Department of Food and Agriculture: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/drought/
California State Water Control Board website:
Other Local Water Organizations
Sierra Valley Groundwater Management District: http://www.sierravalleygmd.org/
Upper Feather River Watershed Group: http://www.ufrwg.org
USDA NRCS: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/ca/home/
SVRCD 2014 Drought Management Workshop
Speaker Handouts & Presentations:
Water Supply Conditions Feb 2014
Drought Nutritional Risks to Cattle
Weather Related Livestock Sales
NCBA Tax & Drought Livestock Sales
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