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State water contractors should “drill into” California’s response to new delta biological opinions

 •  by Lois Henry

A top federal water official warned members of a Central Valley water group that the state’s response to new guidelines for federally endangered fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta would likely include alternatives “inconsistent with your interests.” Ernest Conant, director of the California Great Basin Region of the Bureau of Reclamation (until recently known as…

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Uncategorized

Water is key factor in farmland values

 •  by Lois Henry

Mike Ming, owner of Ag Alliance Services, Inc., puts out a quarterly report looking at farmland valuations in Kern County. Following the passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), water access has become a key factor in land prices – and not in a good way. Key takeaways in Ming’s 3rd quarter report include:…

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Groundwater

Kern groundwater shortfall numbers closer to reality

 •  by Lois Henry

New numbers coming in from water districts to the Kern Groundwater Authority show a groundwater overdraft of 249,644 acre feet a year – and that’s a good thing. “At the last meeting, I admonished water managers to get serious about this, and I’m pleased to report that they have,” said Dennis Mullins, chair of the…

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Groundwater

Farmers looking for answers in groundwater plans

 •  by Lois Henry

Now that actual pumping amounts are coming out per the state’s new groundwater law, farmers, bankers, farm managers and others are getting a clearer picture of their post SGMA worlds. And they have questions. About 25 people attended a recent groundwater sustainability plan presentation in Shafter for landowners in the Shafter-Wasco Irrigation and North Kern…

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GroundwaterRivers
Kern Groundwater

Kern groundwater tally not adding up

 •  by Lois Henry

San Joaquin Valley farms and towns have pumped the basin’s groundwater so furiously and for so long that parts of the valley are sinking, endangering roads and bridges and even breaking one of the main canals that brings in water to support local agriculture. Yet, here in Kern County, state-mandated water budgets presented by several…

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Groundwater

Water updates large and small

 •  by Lois Henry

What’s new in water? Oh, I thought you’d never ask. I’ve got some important tidbits for you. Oh don’t whine, this is the last water column by me you’ll have to slog through so COWGRRRL UP! The biggest, immediate water question right now is: Will they? Or won’t they? I’m talking about the California WaterFix and…

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Water Banking

Cowboy tactics not helping turn failed McAllister Ranch subdivision into Kern’s newest water bank

 •  by Lois Henry

Well, that didn’t take long. It’s been less than a month since Buena Vista Water Storage District bought the remaining 600 acres of the failed McAllister Ranch subdivision and it’s already butting heads with Bakersfield city officials. Like, major league butting. The city cited the water district last week for excavating several ditches on the…

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