NEWS

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…
If agriculture in the valley is going to survive, water leaders need to get cozy with new ideas and new allies. And, yes, that means environmentalists. “Historically, water supplies have been developed in a vacuum,” said Eric Averett, General Manager of Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District, at the Water Association of Kern County’s annual day…
In the first indication of how strict state officials will be with new groundwater sustainability agencies, the Department of Water Resources has refused to accept groundwater plans covering the Madera subbasin because one of those agencies did not sign a coordination agreement. The DWR has not posted the submitted groundwater sustainability plans on its website…
A state report released in December pinned blame for sinking along the California Aqueduct on excessive nearby groundwater pumping to irrigate vineyards and nut orchards. That was a pretty pointed finger, but not pointed enough for some committee directors in the large and powerful Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. They wanted names. The issue…
by Lois Henry
The Department of Water Resources has already put a number of groundwater sustainability plans up on its website for public comment. The public has until April 15 to comment on the first batch. Included in this initial group are some plans that have already generated controversy, such as the joint plan for the Tulare Lake…
The onslaught of paperwork will be astounding. When the calendar strikes Jan. 31, 2020, water agencies around the state will have sent hundreds of thousands of pages of technical data, plans and comments meant to shore up groundwater levels in our most overdrafted areas. Officials at the state Department of Water Resources  are expecting about…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.