NEWS

In the interest of not inundating your email inboxes with a bunch of posts, I’m offering several small newsy water bits in a single take. You are WELCOME! Berkeley gets a Kings earful SJV Water CEO/Editor Lois Henry (that’s me!) was interviewed by Vic Bedoian, a freelance Central Valley radio reporter, for KFPA 94.1 FM…
In what appears to be a game of water chicken, at least one Kern County groundwater sustainability agency is refusing to sign a crucial document required to keep the entire subbasin out of state control. Buena Vista GSA General Manager Tim Ashlock said Monday that his agency won’t sign a five-year “coordination agreement” with Kern’s…
A coordination agreement approved Wednesday by the Kern Groundwater Authority is just cover for continued overpumping, according to the Buena Vista Groundwater Sustainability Agency, which has refused to sign on to the document for a five-year term. It’s unclear if that refusal may put the entire Kern subbasin into probationary status under the state’s new…
Heavy groundwater pumping to sustain a massive increase in orchards and vineyards in the San Joaquin Valley has brought the state’s main water artery to the brink of permanent damage, according to report released by the Department of Water Resources Dec. 31. If groundwater pumping near the California Aqueduct continues at current levels through the…
State water officials are blaming almond and pistachio orchards for sinking the California Aqueduct before all the evidence is in, according to one western Kern County water district manager. “They need to do more homework,” said Jason Gianquinto, General Manager of the Semitropic Water Storage District. “It’s easy to say, ‘Hey, this area is subsiding…
by Lois Henry
After months of fireworks over low-ball pumping numbers and concerns that some groundwater agencies wouldn’t get on board, Kern’s last Groundwater Sustainability Plan was approved Wednesday with barely a murmur. The Kern Groundwater Authority board of directors voted unanimously to adopt its final GSP with just two weeks to spare before the massive document is…
by Lois Henry
San Joaquin Valley farms and towns have pumped the basin’s groundwater so furiously and for so long that parts of the valley are sinking, endangering roads and bridges and even breaking one of the main canals that brings in water to support local agriculture. Yet, here in Kern County, state-mandated water budgets presented by several…
The federal government has OKed a 20-year extension of a water exchange program for one Central Valley water district that another district says will illegally foul its water. The Bureau of Reclamation billed the exchange program as a way to “optimize water supplies and reduce pumping impacts” by allowing a group of Westlands Water District…
Reaction was hushed when Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District General Manager Eric Averett asked the small group of farmers Tuesday morning if any were interested in buying irrigation water at the previously unheard of price of $770 an acre foot. No papers rustled. Keyboards went silent. And none of the growers raised a hand. Such…
New numbers coming in from water districts to the Kern Groundwater Authority show a groundwater overdraft of 249,644 acre feet a year – and that’s a good thing. “At the last meeting, I admonished water managers to get serious about this, and I’m pleased to report that they have,” said Dennis Mullins, chair of the…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.