News Worth Noting: CRS Report: California Ag Production and Irrigated Water Use; Mojave Water Agency hydropower conduit project qualifies for easier regulatory treatment; Cindy Messer appointed to Assistant Chief Deputy Director at DWR

CongressionalResearchServiceCongressional Research Service Report: California Agricultural Production and Irrigated Water Use:California ranks as the leading agricultural state in the United States in terms of farm-level sales. In 2012, California’s farm-level sales totaled nearly $45 billion and accounted for 11% of total U.S. agricultural sales. Five counties—Tulare, Kern, Fresno, Monterey, and Merced—rank among the leading agricultural counties in the nation.  Given current drought conditions in California, however, there has been much attention on the use of water to grow agricultural crops in the state. Depending on the data source, irrigated agriculture accounts for roughly 40% to 80% of total water supplies. Such discrepancies are largely based on different survey methods and assumptions, including the baseline amount of water estimated for use (e.g., what constitutes “available” supplies). … ”  Download a copy of the report at the Water Wired blog here:  Congressional Research Service Report: California Agricultural Production and Irrigated Water Use

Mojave Water Agency hydropower conduit project qualifies for easier regulatory treatment:  “A California wholesale water provider has received a written determination from federal regulators that its proposed hydroelectric power project qualifies for easier regulatory treatment under federal law.  The project entails replacing a pressure reducing valve on an existing water supply pipeline with a hydropower turbine and generator, to create renewable electric energy.  Crucially, its qualification as a conduit hydropower project under a 2013 federal law enables its construction without a license under the Federal Power Act.  Under the Federal Power Act, most hydropower projects must be licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  But the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013 amended the Federal Power Act to ease the regulatory burden on certain projects described as “conduit hydropower” — those generating electricity using only the hydroelectric potential of a non-federally owned conduit, such as a tunnel, canal, pipeline, aqueduct, flume, ditch, or similar manmade water conveyance that is operated for the distribution of water for agricultural, municipal, or industrial consumption, and is not primarily for the generation of electricity.  The 2013 reform law exempted qualifying conduit hydropower facilities from needing licensure, and created an expedited process for soliciting public comment and determining whether the exemption applies. ... ”  Read more from JD Supra here:  Mojave Water Agency hydropower conduit project qualifies for easier regulatory treatment

Seal_of_the_Governor_of_CaliforniaCindy Messer appointed to Assistant Chief Deputy Director at DWR:Cindy Messer, 46, of Sacramento, has been appointed assistant chief deputy director at the California Department of Water Resources. Messer has been deputy director of the Planning, Performance and Technology Division at the Delta Stewardship Council since 2012. She was assistant executive officer at the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy from 2010 to 2012. Messer held several positions in the Division of Environmental Services at the Department of Water Resources from 1999 to 2010, including senior environmental scientist, environmental program manager, section chief and environmental scientist. She earned a Master of Science degree in conservation biology from California State University, Sacramento. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $147,836. Messer is a Democrat.”


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About News Worth Noting:  News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations.  News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms.  If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.

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