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Central Valley water districts take aim at each other’s groundwater plans

 •  by Lois Henry

There is no tougher playground than California’s water world. Just take a look at the zingers flying back and forth between water districts on one another’s groundwater sustainability plans posted on the Department of Water Resources’ website. “It’s like a giant game of dodgeball,” said Dana Munn, General Manager of Shafter-Wasco Irrigation District. You need…

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Groundwater

PPIC: Valley groundwater plans not measuring up

 •  by Lois Henry

Reviews are in and Central Valley groundwater plans are coming up short. The plans aren’t aggressive enough in stemming plummeting groundwater levels and land subsidence; they are overly reliant on the hope of new water as a fix; and they don’t work regionally. Those were the takeaways from a review by the Public Policy Institute…

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Groundwater

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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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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