NEWS

A California Senate proposal to spend $2 billion to buy senior water rights would focus mostly on rights in northern California watersheds with another large chunk aimed at farmland retirement throughout the state. The proposal is included in an $18.5 billion climate plan within the state  budget, which likely won’t be finalized until the end…
The federal government did not breach its contract when it gave water users, including the City of Fresno, a zero water allocation in the extreme drought year of 2014, according to a ruling issued June 6 in Federal Claims Court. It may not seem fair, Judge Armando Bonilla wrote in his ruling, and “To be…
A legal settlement in 2006 created the San Joaquin River Restoration Program to reestablish the spring-run Chinook salmon population that once thrived there. The program has created a native population through careful breeding and water management. Towns Burgess, lead fish biologist with the restoration program, explains how it has been operating through three years of…
Local and state water leaders were practically upbeat two years ago at the last in-person Water Summit put on by the Water Association of Kern County. At least as upbeat as California water folks typically get. They advocated for new ideas, radical partnerships and solutions that could benefit both ag and environmental interests. That was…
Kern River watershed watcher Scott Williams put out what will be his final Kern River Snow and Water Report May 3 and the news was grim. The predicted run off for the Kern River has dwindled from an already meager 33% of normal last month to a downright miserly 28% of normal this month. The…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water
An infusion of state cash will plug several leaky drinking water systems that serve rural communities in the San Joaquin Valley in the near future. The money, $22 million, comes from the Small Community Drought Relief Program under the Department of Water Resources (DWR). That money will fund 17 projects throughout the state, with about…
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…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.