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Fifty years ago this week, the Bakersfield City Council committed an audaciously historic act. On Monday evening Sept. 28, 1970, council members decided to sue Tenneco West for a slice of the Kern River. “The shock was great to many, but from that day forward we had their attention and cooperation,” states the “Kern River…
A rapid-fire review of potential fixes to the Friant-Kern Canal favors building a replacement canal for 20 miles alongside the existing canal where land subsidence has caused it to sag, severely restricting water flow, according to final environmental documents released Friday. The environmental documents, which looked at the project under both state and federal environmental…
by Lois Henry
There are lots of new water gizmos popping up these days but there’s only one Google. Which makes the massive tech company’s involvement in a proposed water measurement tool both intriguing and slightly suspicious to some agricultural water managers. The same goes for another partner in the effort, the Environmental Defense Fund, a well-known advocacy…
by Lois Henry
The big kahuna of California water — Metropolitan Water District of Southern California — has stopped taking supplies from one Kern County groundwater bank because the water is heavily tainted with a cancer-causing agent that is pervasive in Central Valley’s aquifers. While only one banking program has been affected so far, the emergence of this…
If you’ve got water for sale, the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority has $50 million to spend. Or, it will once it starts collecting a controversial, five-year, $2,000-per-acre-foot pumping fee that was approved by the authority last week. Specifically, the desert groundwater basin about 100 miles northeast of Bakersfield in the Mojave Desert, is looking…
If all goes according to plan — actually 26 groundwater sustainability plans —  between 46,000 and nearly 130,000 Central Valley residents could be out of water by 2040, according to a new report released by the Water Foundation. Those sustainability plans are supposed to bring the valley’s depleted aquifers into balance, per the state’s Sustainable…
Two giant Central Valley farming companies are slinging serious mud at one another over groundwater. And, in a rare break with tradition, they’re doing it in public. The fight has spilled out in public comments on the Tulare Lake Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan, which covers most of Kings County. The titans behind the comments are…
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. The plans…
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Water Resources

Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.