NEWS

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…
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…
In the world of groundwater recharge, not all dirt is created equal. Where, when, how much and how fast water can best be recharged into the Central Valley’s severely depleted aquifers has become a critical question. A new tool aims to help answer those questions at the field-by-field level or up to an entire county….
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…
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…
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,…
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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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.