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San Joaquin River flows halted to protect salmon

 •  by Lois Henry

Flows into the San Joaquin River under a program to bring back native salmon will be stopped now through early September to try and protect fish already upstream. The flow reduction being instituted by the San Joaquin Restoration Program is in reaction to rapidly dwindling runoff coming out of the Sierra Nevada mountains this year….

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Drought

California’s mountains are dry. Now we know how dry

 •  by Lois Henry

In a pitifully dry year like 2021, understanding the state’s skimpy snowpack is critical. Multi-million dollar decisions can hinge on even the smallest amounts of snow melt squeezed out of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Which makes information provided by Airborne Snow Observatories, Inc. flights vital, according to water managers. “Right now, there’s still 10,000 to…

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Drought driving up water prices

 •  by Lois Henry

If you were looking for some bargain priced water this year, you’re out of luck. “We got out of the market when we started seeing prices north of $900 an acre foot,” said Jason Gianquinto, General Manager of Semitropic Water Storage District in western Kern County. “That’s just too much for us. We had some…

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Will climate change alter water rights?

 •  by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern

The specter of climate change isn’t just impacting weather, it could also change California water rights, according to experts who spoke at this year’s annual Water Summit put on by the Water Association of Kern County. The May 25 virtual event included a host of experts who caught attendees up on the latest information about…

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Drinking WaterDrought

Valley wells already going dry as drought settles in

 •  by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern

Dry wells are starting to crop up throughout California’s San Joaquin Valley as the 2021 drought digs in. And as the parched state barrels toward summer, the risk of more wells going dry is increasing. For some, that possibility is already a scary reality. Misty Vasquez was at work in December, when her husband called…

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DroughtSGMAWater Banking

Delano’s “big dig”

 •  by Lois Henry

The state’s new groundwater law has prompted a lot of dirt movement in the Central Valley. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act passed in 2014 mandates that overdrafted water basins get their aquifers in balance — don’t pump out more than goes back in — by 2040. In order to get there without massive farmland fallowing,…

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Valley groundwater may get (small) slice of state’s $15 billion surplus

 •  by Lois Henry

The Governor’s proposal for how to spend California’s $15 billion surplus includes $60 million in direct grants to help replenish groundwater in the valley’s most depleted basins. The measure specifies the money is to be used in “critically over-drafted basins,” which lie mostly in the San Joaquin Valley. Water managers were pleasantly surprised, but not…

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