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Pricey tunnel sparks talk of water sales

 •  by Lois Henry

Getting water through a tunnel under  the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta would be pricey. So pricey, some Kern County water districts were looking for an “off-ramp” by potentially selling their main state water supply out of the county. The request was shot down at a special meeting on Nov. 6 by the Kern County Water Agency,…

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Federal SystemGroundwaterRiversState System

Happy 50th “Kern Riversary!” 1970 vote brought river into public hands

 •  by Lois Henry

Fifty years ago this week, the Bakersfield City Council committed an audaciously historic act. On Monday evening Sept. 28, 1970, council members decided to sue Tenneco West for a slice of the Kern River. “The shock was great to many, but from that day forward we had their attention and cooperation,” states the “Kern River…

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Drinking WaterState SystemWater Banking

Proposed $171 million Central Valley groundwater bank faces TCP contamination

 •  by Lois Henry

A Kern County groundwater bank proposal just at the starting blocks has been hit with 1,2,3-TCP contamination. Irvine Ranch Water District and Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District had just begun the environmental review process for their joint banking project this past April when TCP reared its head. “It doesn’t appear TCP is an existential threat…

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State System

Proposed single delta tunnel could cost $15.9 billion

 •  by Lois Henry

A single tunnel proposed to take water under the sensitive Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and deliver it to farms and cities in the south could cost $15.9 billion, give or take, according to an initial assessment discussed at the Delta Conveyance Authority meeting on Thursday. This is a scaled down version of a proposal under Gov….

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State System

May storms give state contractors 5% boost

 •  by Lois Henry

Department of Water Resources press release: SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The State Water Project (SWP) now expects to deliver 20 percent of requested supplies in 2020 thanks to above-average precipitation in May, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced today. An initial allocation of 10 percent was announced in December and increased to 15 percent…

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DroughtFederal SystemGroundwaterState System

State’s low water allocation prompts frustration, suspicion

 •  by Lois Henry

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…

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Federal SystemRiversState System

New state water regs cause angst on all sides

 •  by Lois Henry

A new set of water regulations aimed at protecting California’s native fish came down from the state earlier this week to near universal condemnation from both agricultural and environmental water folks. The regulations are contained in a 143-page “incidental take permit” issued by the Department of Fish and Wildlife that lays out when  — and…

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