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Crops grown with oilfield water safe, panel finds

 •  by Lois Henry

Fruits and vegetables grown with recycled oilfield water in Kern County got a final stamp of approval last month, nearly five years after the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board began what it thought was going to be a three-month process investigating the water’s safety. Findings from numerous, wide-ranging studies commissioned by a Food…

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DroughtFederal SystemGroundwaterState System

State’s low water allocation prompts frustration, suspicion

 •  by Lois Henry

Is the State Water Project’s extremely low water allocation based on California’s fickle climate? Or politics? A growing chorus of frustrated water managers are wondering. After a dry January, the Department of Water Resources announced it would only be able to deliver 15 percent of contracted water amounts to farms and cities. That number hasn’t…

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GroundwaterRivers

Legal fight reopened over Kern River

 •  by Lois Henry

The Kern River can’t seem to stay out of California’s courtrooms — even in a pandemic. The latest legal scuffle, which erupted last week, is a continuation of a nearly decade long battle by a Kern County ag water district to hold on to a portion of its main water supply. On Friday, April 9,…

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Groundwater

Price of reclaimed water still too high for ag

 •  by Lois Henry

If you’re a Central Valley farmer and haven’t yet been hit up by someone about reusing crummy water for irrigation — just wait. Companies are springing up all over with the latest gizmo they believe will take nasty, salty water, mostly from shallow aquifers on the valley’s west side or oilfield produced water, and make…

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Federal SystemGroundwater

District sues to stop salty water exchange

 •  by Lois Henry

The James Irrigation District in western Fresno County has sued the Westlands Water District over its plan to let farmers pump salty groundwater into the Mendota Pool in exchange for water from the San Luis Reservoir. The lawsuit could scuttle Westlands’ plans to create a certain supply for its farmers as they, and farmers throughout…

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DroughtGroundwater

Collaboration is the new game in California water

 •  by Lois Henry

If agriculture in the valley is going to survive, water leaders need to get cozy with new ideas and new allies. And, yes, that means environmentalists. “Historically, water supplies have been developed in a vacuum,” said Eric Averett, General Manager of Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District, at the Water Association of Kern County’s annual day…

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