NEWS

by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
A bill that would create a program to help farmers find new life for farmland idled by coming groundwater restrictions had its own phoenix moment in early September when it was simultaneously killed and reborn —  this time with money. AB 252, authored by Assemblymembers Robert Rivas (D-Salinas) and Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), died in the…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
Some San Joaquin Valley farmers could someday have a new “crop” to sell —  their groundwater. In the face of looming groundwater pumping restrictions, some groundwater agencies are looking at internal markets to give growers a way to save water and still earn a profit. These nascent markets are still in the talking and tinkering…
by Lois Henry
A battle of groundwater banks is underway in Kern County with accusations that one is poised to mine the local aquifer and sell water outside the area. The two main combatants are the massive Kern Water Bank, which covers 32-square miles straddling Interstate 5 west of Bakersfield, and the Buena Vista Water Storage District, which…
The epicenter of dry wells during California’s last devastating drought was undoubtedly Porterville. The small Tulare County town saw wells go dry enmasse in its unincorporated east side. It became a national headline as the media descended. Amid the glare of tv cameras, the state pledged to help and agreed to build three new wells….
The Cross Valley Canal is a key cog in the southern San Joaquin Valley’s water machinery. It moves water east and west between the California Aqueduct along Kern County’s western edge to the Kern County Water Agency’s facilities near Manor Street in Bakersfield. Along the way, it also connects with the federally owned Friant-Kern Canal,…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
Central Valley cattle ranchers are gearing up for a fight against what they see as groundwater rustling. Their fear is that newly formed groundwater agencies in some areas could devalue their land by not giving them a fair share of their own groundwater. Ranchers believe those fears were realized on June 8 when the Madera…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
California’s canals are sinking. Excessive groundwater pumping has collapsed the land beneath several key canals, crimping their ability to move water. Fixing them will be expensive. There are two bills moving through the state Legislature and Congress that could provide some funding. This is the second try for the state bill, Senate Bill 559 by…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
Not all farmland in the San Joaquin Valley will survive in a post-SGMA world. Estimates are that the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act will force between 500,000 to one million acres of land that’s currently farmed to be taken out of production to save groundwater. Which lands and what will become of those lands are major…
by Lois Henry
Valley Public Radio in Fresno interviewed me about SJV Water’s story on subsidence in Corcoran that ran in the New York Times. TAKE A LISTEN!…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
Groundwater is one of the hottest ticket items in California’s water world these days. But much about it is a mystery. Where is it? How does it move? Which are the best spots to percolate water into the ground for storage? At least two technologies hope to answer some of those questions: airborne electromagnetic surveys…
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