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When it comes to finding innovative solutions to drinking water problems, the tiny community of Allensworth in Tulare county has long been on the front lines. This spring, community began testing a new technology that would “jolt” arsenic out of its groundwater. And since 2021, Allensworth has also been home to another new technology that…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water
Multiple San Joaquin Valley groundwater projects got a significant shot of state funding this week to kickstart recharge, and other, projects. On Monday, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced $150 million was awarded to 20 agencies through its first round of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Grant Program. That includes almost $84 million for 11…
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…
A Kings County judge issued a preliminary injunction Monday stopping a 48-inch water pipeline from cutting through the Tulare Lake Canal. The decision comes several months after J.G. Boswell, which controls the Tulare Lake Canal Company, blockaded the canal with bulldozers and excavators to keep the pipeline, owned by Sandridge Partners, which is controlled by…
A pair of lawsuits focused on trespass and environmental issues surrounding construction of a 48-inch water pipeline in Kings County are, in many ways, just a token of a much larger issue: Groundwater leaving the county, a judge noted on Friday. “The fact that groundwater is an issue in this county isn’t disputed,” Judge Valerie…
The state has $50 million to spend to retire farmland, which it intends to give out as block grants to local agencies, tribes and nonprofits in the San Joaquin Valley. But there are strings attached to the money. The groups that receive the block grants will have to work directly with farmers and community members…
Divisions are deepening within the giant Westlands Water District as some growers fear the district’s longtime, controversial general manager is amassing too much power. In mid-February, district staff proposed new groundwater rules that would give General Manager Tom Birmingham almost total control over how groundwater is accounted for and to which grower accounts it would…
Last we left off, Kings County’s two biggest farming companies were at impasse over a pipeline with heavy equipment and work crews standing guard atop the Tulare Lake Canal to keep a trench from being cut through its banks. Attorneys for the Tulare Lake Canal Company, controlled by the giant J.G. Boswell Company, and Sandridge…
Southern California’s reliance on Kern County’s prolific groundwater banks for drought insurance could be jeopardized by a chemical known as 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP). The cancer-causing agent has been found in several large groundwater banking operations in Kern and a first look at how much it may cost to clean up is a doozy. Up to $465…
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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Water Resources

Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.