NEWS

More money could be coming to California’s new farmland repurposing program. But it’s still just a drop in the bucket, according experts.  In his budget summary for 2022-2023, Governor Newsom proposed an additional $40 million for the Multibenefit Land Repurposing Program, a program approved last year to pay farmers incentives for taking irrigated land out…
by Jesse Vad and Lois Henry, SJV Water
Groundwater plans for eight “critically overdrafted” subbasins in the San Joaquin Valley were deemed incomplete by the state Department of Water Resources (DWR) on Friday. Plans covering the Kern, Eastern San Joaquin, Merced, Chowchilla, Kings, Kaweah, Tulare Lake and Tule subbasins were all officially labeled as “incomplete” by DWR. On January 21, DWR also deemed…
Groundwater plans for two regions in the western San Joaquin Valley were deemed deficient by the state Department of Water Resources (DWR) on Friday. The Westside subbasin, overseen by Westlands Water District, and the Delta-Mendota subbasin’s plans were officially labeled as “incomplete” by DWR. The state also found groundwater plans for the Paso Robles and…
by Lois Henry
The Indian Wells Valley groundwater plan got a thumbs up from the state on Thursday but with a swarm of lawsuits surrounding the plan, it’s unclear what that approval will mean going forward. One of those lawsuits seeks a “comprehensive adjudication” of water rights of the Indian Wells Valley basin, which could reconfigure who has…
Tulare County farmers used to pumping groundwater at will are coming to the harsh reality that those days are numbered. For some, they’re already over. Pumping caps have been, or soon will be, implemented in all three groundwater sustainability agencies in the Kaweah subbasin,. “I’d say the reaction has been positive. Positively terrible,” said Mike…
Madera County, which acts as a groundwater sustainability agency for farmlands outside of irrigation district boundaries, was the first agency in California to institute groundwater pumping limits. Meanwhile, area irrigation districts haven’t implemented pumping restrictions. That has created what one farmer called an unfair advantage. But there are arguments on the other side that farmers…
Groundwater recharge seems to be priority No. 1 in the San Joaquin Valley’s scramble toward sustainability. With water restrictions on the horizon, groundwater managers can’t build recharge sites fast enough. But will it be enough? “That’s something that’s always on the forefront of my mind, is this going to be enough?” said Kassy Chaughan, executive…
by Claudia Boyd-Barrett, California Health Report
This piece is part of a collaboration that includes the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), California Health Report, Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism, Circle of Blue, Colorado Public Radio, Columbia Insight, The Counter, High Country News, New Mexico In Depth and SJV Water. The project was made possible by a grant from the Water Foundation…
by Theo Whitcomb, High Country News
This piece is part of a collaboration that includes the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), California Health Report, Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism, Circle of Blue, Colorado Public Radio, Columbia Insight, The Counter, High Country News, New Mexico In Depth and SJV Water. The project was made possible by a grant from the Water Foundation…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.