* “Kern Meeting Notes” is a new feature focused on Kern County water districts, funded through a grant from the James B. McClatchy Foundation. Please consider supporting SJV Water to continue this important coverage.
Date: Dec. 12, 2023
Agenda and Packet: CLICK HERE
Major topic: Friant-Kern Canal construction
Details: It was reported to the Arvin-Edison board that repairs to a 33-mile section of the Friant-Kern Canal is 90% complete.
The timeline board members were given for the project is that the canal is expected to be operational by the end of Jan. 2024, functioning by February, and to its full capacity by March or April.
That section of the canal had sunk due to excessive groundwater pumping by area farmers. The sag runs from about Pixley in Tulare County to the Kern County line and had substantially reduced the Friant-Kern’s carrying capacity from about 2,750 cubic feet per second down to 1,400 cfs.
A second canal has been built just east of the existing canal at a cost of nearly $300 million from a variety of sources, including the federal Bureau of Reclamation, Friant contractors and farmers who caused the subsidence, or ground sinking, in the Eastern Tule Groundwater Sustainability Agency.
A video of the ongoing construction was shown at the meeting.
Arvin-Edison board members were concerned, though, that subsidence has not stopped. In fact, there has been accelerated subsidence that could potentially reduce flow by 400 cfs, according to board members.
There is currently on investigation to see what can be done about the subsidence.
How to attend: Arvin-Edison Water Storage District meets at 12 p.m. on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at their district office located at 20401 E. Bear Mountain Blvd. You can also join online via Microsoft Teams using the Meeting ID: 286 409 917 101 and Passcode: LbHxDa