NEWS

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…
by Lois Henry
The storm finally arrived in Bakersfield early Tuesday evening. The storm was expected to bring significant rainfall to areas in the San Joaquin Valley after a dry January and even drier February, according to the National Weather Service’s Hanford office: A system will approach the coast of California through Wednesday. Significant rainfall is likely in…
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
Dennis Mullins led the first attempt to measure Kern groundwater under new state law.  For long-time local attorney Dennis Mullins, life was a banquet of knowledge and one of his greatest joys was filling himself up so he could help others. He was well-known for his ability to pare down and communicate complex issues, often…
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…
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…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.