NEWS

by Rose Horowitch, SJV Water reporting intern
A lawsuit over groundwater plans in the northern end of the San Joaquin Valley is being closely watched as it could have implications for how the state’s groundwater mandate moves forward, according to a recent briefing on the issue at the Kern Groundwater Authority. At the Nov. 16 meeting, authority attorney Valerie Kincaid explained that…
In the chronically overpumped San Joaquin Valley, groundwater recharge can’t happen fast enough. And researchers at University of California, Davis and Stanford University have found underground highways that could put recharge into the fast lane.  In a new paper released today, scientists show that airborne electromagnetic (AEM) surveys flown with helicopters can locate ancient underground…
The makeup of the Westlands Water District board will change this election – shifting power to a coalition of growers with a list of new actions, at the top of which appears to be ousting longtime General Manager Tom Birmingham. “There needs to be a change of leadership, that’s a foundational issue,” said Sarah Woolf,…
There’s no word, yet, of state intervention in the ongoing water war between two of Kings County’s largest growers – John Vidovich and the J.G. Boswell Company – but there has been fallout. Kimberly Brown, a board member of  the Southwest Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency, resigned August 10 in protest of last-minute language added to…
A state program aimed at retiring and repurposing farmland could get $60 million – more than doubling its current funding – under Gov. Newsom’s proposed budget.  The Multibenefit Land Repurposing Program was created with $50 million from the 2021 state budget. The program helps pay for farmland to be taken out of production and repurposed…
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…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.