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Fractures have appeared within Kern County’s largest groundwater agency as pressure mounts for it to show the state how it plans to address the region’s massive groundwater deficit. Four water entities recently notified the Kern Groundwater Authority they were pulling out of the 16-member group to write their own groundwater sustainability plan. That will add…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water
Multiple San Joaquin Valley groundwater projects got a significant shot of state funding this week to kickstart recharge, and other, projects. On Monday, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced $150 million was awarded to 20 agencies through its first round of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Grant Program. That includes almost $84 million for 11…
Advocates are sounding the alarm for what they think could be the collapse of the San Joaquin Valley’s agriculture workforce. As drought continues to hammer the state and groundwater pumping restrictions take effect, farmland will need to be retired en masse.  While there have been many conversations, including legislation, on how to support farmers during…
by Jesse Vad and Lois Henry, SJV Water
Gov. Newsom’s emergency drought order that singled out agricultural wells for extra scrutiny is continuing to cause confusion and angst in some parts of the San Joaquin Valley, while other areas are stutter-stepping forward. Selma raisin farmer Tony Panoo was happy to finally have his well drilled on Monday after several tense weeks when his…
Kern County agricultural water districts are giving major side-eye to one of their own over what’s known as “minimum threshold” groundwater levels The grumbling is aimed at the sprawling Semitropic Water Storage District in northwest Kern, where minimum thresholds are set, in some cases, at levels that would allow farmers to pump down the water…
Three Tulare County groundwater agencies that cover areas with severe subsidence due to over pumping spent the last year implementing programs to stem that tide and collected more than $11 million in the process. The Lower Tule River Irrigation District, Pixley Irrigation District and Eastern Tule groundwater sustainability agencies (GSA) are among the first to…
More money could be coming to California’s new farmland repurposing program. But it’s still just a drop in the bucket, according experts.  In his budget summary for 2022-2023, Governor Newsom proposed an additional $40 million for the Multibenefit Land Repurposing Program, a program approved last year to pay farmers incentives for taking irrigated land out…
If you’re living in excited anticipation of the next batch of legal action on several San Joaquin Valley rivers now under scrutiny by the rights division of the State Water Resources Control Board, you may want to cool your jets. That doesn’t mean absolutely nothing has been happening on the Fresno, Kings and Kern rivers….
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.