NEWS

A sale of agricultural water within the Panoche Water District on the upper west side of the San Joaquin Valley hit the eye-popping price of $2,000 per acre foot recently. The buyer bought 668 acre feet in a deal that was brokered by Nat DiBuduo with Alliance Ag Services. The buyer, whose name was withheld,…
Kern County agricultural water districts are giving major side-eye to one of their own over what’s known as “minimum threshold” groundwater levels The grumbling is aimed at the sprawling Semitropic Water Storage District in northwest Kern, where minimum thresholds are set, in some cases, at levels that would allow farmers to pump down the water…
Valley groundwater agencies are mired in confusion and concern over Gov. Newsom’s March 28 executive drought order, which added new steps for permitting agricultural wells, according to agencies’ staff.  As groundwater agency managers scramble to hash out exactly how to comply with the order, well permits in some areas are stuck in limbo leaving well…
Amateur, but thorough, snow watcher Scott Williams released his monthly “Kern River Snow and Water Report” April 2 and the news is subpar. Annual runoff from the watershed is anticipated to be 33% of average this year based on the paltry snow pack left following the significantly dry January, February and March months. Williams compiles…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water
New wells for agriculture will be more difficult to drill in the San Joaquin Valley under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent executive order in response to the ongoing drought. Part of the order prohibits new wells from being drilled without approval from local groundwater sustainability agencies (GSA) first. The GSAs must determine that new wells or…
In California’s byzantine water world, some water districts are, apparently, more equal than others, to paraphrase George Orwell. That appears to be the case in the federally operated Central Valley Project, particularly when it comes to two main sets of water districts: the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors and the Friant Contractors. On Feb. 27,…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water
California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) conducted its third snow survey of the season and the outlook is not good for the state’s water users. The survey recorded 35 inches of snow at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada mountains below Lake Tahoe. That’s about 68% of average for this time of year. Statewide, snowpack…
Local water watcher Scott Williams put out his monthly Kern River watershed report Tuesday and the outlook is skimpy without more storms before May. Williams compiles stats from a number of publicly available sources, including state electronic snow sensors, called “pillows,” stashed in the upper reaches of the watershed and compares them to historic trends….
A proposed Kern County groundwater bank that would be partially funded with $87 million in Proposition 1 money for new water storage, may have to deal with contamination before it spreads its first drop. The Kern Fan Groundwater Storage Project has not found contamination yet, but is sandwiched between areas that have confirmed 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP),…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.