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Water games: Madera farmers set to test market

 •  by Lois Henry

Madera County farmers are getting ready to play what could be the “game” of their livelihoods. The county groundwater sustainability agency will launch a groundwater market simulation, or game, next month as a way for growers to see if selling and trading their groundwater helps make the most of what will become a severely limited…

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DroughtGroundwaterState System

Valley groundwater may get (small) slice of state’s $15 billion surplus

 •  by Lois Henry

The Governor’s proposal for how to spend California’s $15 billion surplus includes $60 million in direct grants to help replenish groundwater in the valley’s most depleted basins. The measure specifies the money is to be used in “critically over-drafted basins,” which lie mostly in the San Joaquin Valley. Water managers were pleasantly surprised, but not…

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Groundwater

Madera groundwater plan accepted by state

 •  by Lois Henry

The public can finally get a look at how Madera officials plan to correct severe groundwater over pumping and replenish aquifers in that area. For some farmers, that correction will mean pumping limits of up to 50 percent from what’s allowed today. Water budgets and water markets will also likely become the norm. That information…

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Federal SystemFriant-Kern CanalGroundwater

Friant-Kern Canal fix approved over concerns the plan isn’t fully baked

 •  by Lois Henry

The Friant Water Authority on Thursday approved the final environmental review for a massive project to fix a 33-mile segment of the Friant-Kern Canal despite continued questions about funding and other concerns expressed by some Friant contractors. One water manager compared the plan to several bungled construction projects, including California’s High Speed Rail and a…

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ConservationGroundwaterWater Markets

“Madness and arrogance” blamed for one lawsuit against desert groundwater agency

 •  by Lois Henry

Two lawsuits accusing the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority of ramming through a plan that ignores water rights and, according to one plaintiff, is intended to “destroy agriculture” were filed this week. At issue is a controversial $2,000-per-acre-foot fee approved by the authority last month that would be charged to certain groundwater users over a…

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