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DroughtFederal System

Initial federal water allocations for valley ag are low at 15 and 20 percent

 •  by Lois Henry

An historically dry February forced the feds to keep initial water allocations to Central Valley Project contractors low in the first round of allocations announced Tuesday during a call with federal water contractors. The Bureau of Reclamation is looking at delivering 15 percent of contracted amounts to agricultural contractors, such as Westlands Water District, south…

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ConservationDrinking WaterFederal SystemPersonalities

With Trump comes a lot of speculation

 •  by Lois Henry

Will President Donald Trump give his signatory flourish to the new controversial federal plan for operations in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta when he visits Bakersfield on Wednesday? Will he announce full funding to fix the sagging Friant-Kern Canal? Or will he do a 180 and announce some entirely new policy on oil extraction or endangered…

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Federal SystemGroundwaterUncategorized

Salty water spat erupts over “no man’s land” of Mendota Pool

 •  by Lois Henry

The federal government has OKed a 20-year extension of a water exchange program for one Central Valley water district that another district says will illegally foul its water. The Bureau of Reclamation billed the exchange program as a way to “optimize water supplies and reduce pumping impacts” by allowing a group of Westlands Water District…

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Federal SystemPersonalitiesState SystemUncategorized

State water contractors should “drill into” California’s response to new delta biological opinions

 •  by Lois Henry

A top federal water official warned members of a Central Valley water group that the state’s response to new guidelines for federally endangered fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta would likely include alternatives “inconsistent with your interests.” Ernest Conant, director of the California Great Basin Region of the Bureau of Reclamation (until recently known as…

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Federal System

Water, water everywhere, but can we keep it?

 •  by Lois Henry

Will we get the water? That’s the question everyone’s been asking. (And by everyone, I mean the other five or six people I know who are as weirdly interested in water as I am.) Storms are dumping, rivers are rising and lakes are filling — finally. Will we be able to squirrel that water away…

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Federal System

Water odds and ends

 •  by Lois Henry

It’s all about water. At least this column will be. If you haven’t read the big, giant water bill that had Sen. Barbara Boxer’s panties in a big, giant twist, I encourage you to give it a skim. That bill has everything in it. Sure, it has provisions that will authorize some operational changes in the Sacramento-San…

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Federal System

One more try for federal fixes to California’s water woes

 •  by Lois Henry

Local water folks are hopeful, but not holding their breath, that the latest congressional effort to move a little more water down the pike from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will actually succeed. Even if it does, I’m sure environmental activists already have their lawyers prepped and ready for launch. But it’s the holidays, so who…

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Federal System

Local water districts feel cheated by ‘exchange’

 •  by Lois Henry

Oh, the fascinating stuff our protracted drought is revealing. I’m not talking about tires and old town foundations at the bottom of California’s reservoirs. This drought is also putting long-held assumptions about water rights under intense scrutiny. In this instance, a dispute over how the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has administered a contract spanning more…

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