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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…
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…
by Lois Henry
The James Irrigation District in western Fresno County has sued the Westlands Water District over its plan to let farmers pump salty groundwater into the Mendota Pool in exchange for water from the San Luis Reservoir. The lawsuit could scuttle Westlands’ plans to create a certain supply for its farmers as they, and farmers throughout…
Central Valley farmers may soon have another crop to sell along with almonds, tomatoes and peppers — the groundwater beneath their land. Proposed groundwater markets have popped up in just about every groundwater sustainability plan (GSP) filed with the state Jan. 31. One such market is about to launch its first phase within the next…
The consequences of not complying with the state’s new groundwater law came home to roost in Madera County, which got a big-fat zero in grant funding from the state for lack of a coordination agreement, the state announced Friday. Madera County had requested $500,000 to help with well installation for groundwater monitoring on behalf of…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.