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Kern River at its lowest in 2,000 years

 •  by Lois Henry

A new study confirms that 2015 saw the Kern River run at its lowest level since Jesus walked the earth. “Although there have been longer droughts, the 2015 water year represents the driest in the last 2,015 years and the 2012–2015 drought represents the driest four-year period in the record,” the study states. The study,…

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UncategorizedWater Markets

It’s all about water markets

 •  by Lois Henry

Almonds take too much water. Wait, alfalfa is the bad guy. What about those water hogging geeks in Silicon Valley? No, no, no — that “evil” fracking is to blame. If it’s a day that ends in “y,” Californians are finding new water guzzling bogeymen to vilify. Meanwhile, economists are quietly shaking their heads. All…

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Federal System

Local water districts feel cheated by ‘exchange’

 •  by Lois Henry

Oh, the fascinating stuff our protracted drought is revealing. I’m not talking about tires and old town foundations at the bottom of California’s reservoirs. This drought is also putting long-held assumptions about water rights under intense scrutiny. In this instance, a dispute over how the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has administered a contract spanning more…

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Development

How water from Kern grows sprawl in Madera

 •  by Lois Henry

So, a pile of water banked in Kern County is being used to support a massive urban development in Madera County. Before you try and wrap your head around how that’s geographically possible, there’s the whole question of whether the banked water (and other water slated for the project) even can be used for that purpose. Then…

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Water Resources

Maven's Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.

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