NEWS

Longtime Westlands Water District General Manager Tom Birmingham announced Nov. 23 that he will retire as of Dec. 31. “I am retiring with extreme pride in the things Westlands had accomplished over the last two decades,” he wrote in an email announcement. Birmingham had faced the likelihood that a newly-elected majority on the Westlands board…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water
The San Joaquin River is a vital source of water for agriculture and the environment and it is also home to a unique program that hopes to restore native fish runs. It is a complex program and SJV Water was fortunate to take advantage of a tour offered through the Water Education Foundation Nov. 2-3…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water
A controversial proposed dam seems to have a new pathway forward. But how far will it get through California’s byzantine world of water rights? Nobody seems to agree on an answer.  The Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir is a joint project between the Del Puerto Water District and the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractor Authority on…
by Rose Horowitch, SJV Water reporting intern
A lawsuit over groundwater plans in the northern end of the San Joaquin Valley is being closely watched as it could have implications for how the state’s groundwater mandate moves forward, according to a recent briefing on the issue at the Kern Groundwater Authority. At the Nov. 16 meeting, authority attorney Valerie Kincaid explained that…
The Water Association of Kern County held its annual meeting and dinner Nov. 9 where it awarded its “Water Leader of the Year” and “Water Legacy Awards” to two longtime figures in the local farming and water worlds. Following is the association’s press release: BAKERSFIELD, CA – The Water Association of Kern County proudly presented…
In the chronically overpumped San Joaquin Valley, groundwater recharge can’t happen fast enough. And researchers at University of California, Davis and Stanford University have found underground highways that could put recharge into the fast lane.  In a new paper released today, scientists show that airborne electromagnetic (AEM) surveys flown with helicopters can locate ancient underground…
The math was not in Tom Birmingham’s favor. It was clear weeks before the Nov. 8 election that the board of the massive Westlands Water District in western Fresno County would be changing. And that change would likely result in the controversial General Manager’s ouster. There were four board seats up for election. A preliminary…
by Rose Horowitch, SJV Water reporting intern
After an election night marked by statewide victories for moderate Democrats, one of the San Joaquin Valley’s biggest agricultural water districts assessed how best to maintain its influence.  During the Nov. 9 Board of Directors meeting of the Semitropic Water Storage District, former Democratic state senator Dean Florez, now a lobbyist for Semitropic, updated the…
The fight against climate change is coming to the small town of Allensworth in Tulare County.  The state awarded $300,000 to the Allensworth Progressive Association, a local nonprofit, to “implement neighborhood-level projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve public health and the environment and expand economic opportunity for residents,” according to a press release from…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.