NEWS

by Jesse Vad and Lois Henry, SJV Water
Just before announcing she was switching her quest for reelection from one state Senate district to another, Melissa Hurtado appears to have thrown up a flag announcing her conservative bona fides in what could become a contest of the most right-leaning Democrat. On Feb. 17, Hurtado, who currently represents Sanger, introduced Senate Bill 1219 to…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
During a contentious Westlands Water District meeting on Tuesday where growers spoke out against district leadership, board members voted 8-1 to extend General Manager Tom Birmingham’s contract another three years. As has been the district’s recent practice, the contract extension came a year before Birmingham’s contract expires. Westlands growers criticized Birmingham, expressed frustration at the…
by Lois Henry
It appears a new Kern River Watermaster will be chosen to replace Dana Munn, whose contract winds up at the end of this year. If he’s officially approved by all the voting members of the “river interests,” Mark Mulkay will likely become the fourth ever Kern River Watermaster. He said he’s discussed it with all…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
In California’s water world, long dominated almost exclusively by men, women are blazing a path — sometimes straight to the top.  “I think water is changing,” said Karla Nemeth, director of California’s Department of Water Resources. “There’s more and more of an understanding that as a society and even politically, we’re not going to get…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
Job alert: The Shafter-Wasco Irrigation District, which serves nearly 30,000 acres of farms in Kern County, is hiring a new general manager. But what exactly does the general manager of an irrigation district do? It’s a question that isn’t easily answered, even by water executives themselves. “I found it very hard to describe what I…
Richard L. Schafer left an “indelible” imprint on water systems — and the people who run them — in the southern San Joaquin Valley over his extensive career. The longtime Tule River Water Master, who had worked with just about every agricultural water district in the area, died Thursday. He was 95. Aside from his…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
The specter of climate change isn’t just impacting weather, it could also change California water rights, according to experts who spoke at this year’s annual Water Summit put on by the Water Association of Kern County. The May 25 virtual event included a host of experts who caught attendees up on the latest information about…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.