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SoCal water managers want to know who – exactly – is sinking the California Aqueduct

 •  by Lois Henry

A state report released in December pinned blame for sinking along the California Aqueduct on excessive nearby groundwater pumping to irrigate vineyards and nut orchards. That was a pretty pointed finger, but not pointed enough for some committee directors in the large and powerful Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. They wanted names. The issue…

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GroundwaterWater Banking
Kern water managers were scolded for "phony number" in their groundwater accounts

Groundwater plans are out for comment

 •  by Lois Henry

The Department of Water Resources has already put a number of groundwater sustainability plans up on its website for public comment. The public has until April 15 to comment on the first batch. Included in this initial group are some plans that have already generated controversy, such as the joint plan for the Tulare Lake…

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Drinking WaterGroundwaterUncategorized

Kings County groundwater plan raising questions

 •  by Lois Henry

It’s hard to imagine state officials giving the thumbs up to a groundwater sustainability plan that potentially allows Corcoran – California’s subsidence epicenter – to sink another 6 feet. Especially considering the tiny, rural town was forced to spend $14 million in 2017 to rebuild its levees following the 2012-16 drought when it suffered subsidence…

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DroughtGroundwaterState SystemUncategorized

Irrigation water prices under SGMA causing sticker shock

 •  by Lois Henry

Reaction was hushed when Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District General Manager Eric Averett asked the small group of farmers Tuesday morning if any were interested in buying irrigation water at the previously unheard of price of $770 an acre foot. No papers rustled. Keyboards went silent. And none of the growers raised a hand. You…

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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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GroundwaterUncategorized

Kern’s final groundwater plan approved

 •  by Lois Henry

After months of fireworks over low-ball pumping numbers and concerns that some groundwater agencies wouldn’t get on board, Kern’s last Groundwater Sustainability Plan was approved Wednesday with barely a murmur. The Kern Groundwater Authority board of directors voted unanimously to adopt its final GSP with just two weeks to spare before the massive document is…

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GroundwaterState SystemUncategorized

Nuts getting a bad rap for sinking the California Aqueduct

 •  by Lois Henry

State water officials are blaming almond and pistachio orchards for sinking the California Aqueduct before all the evidence is in, according to one western Kern County water district manager. “They need to do more homework,” said Jason Gianquinto, General Manager of the Semitropic Water Storage District. “It’s easy to say, ‘Hey, this area is subsiding…

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GroundwaterState SystemUncategorized

Extreme ag pumping threatens California’s main water artery

 •  by Lois Henry

Heavy groundwater pumping to sustain a massive increase in orchards and vineyards in the San Joaquin Valley has brought the state’s main water artery to the brink of permanent damage, according to report released by the Department of Water Resources Dec. 31. If groundwater pumping near the California Aqueduct continues at current levels through the…

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Groundwater

Kern’s groundwater agreement is just cover for the “pump club”

 •  by Lois Henry

A coordination agreement approved Wednesday by the Kern Groundwater Authority is just cover for continued overpumping, according to the Buena Vista Groundwater Sustainability Agency, which has refused to sign on to the document for a five-year term. It’s unclear if that refusal may put the entire Kern subbasin into probationary status under the state’s new…

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