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“Madness and arrogance” blamed for one lawsuit against desert groundwater agency

 •  by Lois Henry

Two lawsuits accusing the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority of ramming through a plan that ignores water rights and, according to one plaintiff, is intended to “destroy agriculture” were filed this week. At issue is a controversial $2,000-per-acre-foot fee approved by the authority last month that would be charged to certain groundwater users over a…

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Federal SystemGroundwaterRiversState System

Happy 50th “Kern Riversary!” 1970 vote brought river into public hands

 •  by Lois Henry

Fifty years ago this week, the Bakersfield City Council committed an audaciously historic act. On Monday evening Sept. 28, 1970, council members decided to sue Tenneco West for a slice of the Kern River. “The shock was great to many, but from that day forward we had their attention and cooperation,” states the “Kern River…

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Drinking Water

Last minute loan keeps drinking water projects afloat

 •  by Lois Henry

Small, failing drinking water systems got a funding life preserver among a flurry of budget bills at the chaotic end of the California legislative session. Drinking water advocates had fretted the Safe and Affordable Funding for Equity and Resilience (SAFER) program, intended to help struggling water systems in mostly poor, rural areas, would fall victim…

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Federal SystemFriant-Kern CanalGroundwater

20-mile replacement canal is preferred fix for the sagging Friant-Kern Canal

 •  by Lois Henry

A rapid-fire review of potential fixes to the Friant-Kern Canal favors building a replacement canal for 20 miles alongside the existing canal where land subsidence has caused it to sag, severely restricting water flow, according to final environmental documents released Friday. You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please Login. Not…

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Drinking WaterState SystemWater Banking

Proposed $171 million Central Valley groundwater bank faces TCP contamination

 •  by Lois Henry

A Kern County groundwater bank proposal just at the starting blocks has been hit with 1,2,3-TCP contamination. Irvine Ranch Water District and Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District had just begun the environmental review process for their joint banking project this past April when TCP reared its head. “It doesn’t appear TCP is an existential threat…

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Groundwater

Desert water basin hopes to dive into California water market

 •  by Lois Henry

If you’ve got water for sale, the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority has $50 million to spend. Or, it will once it starts collecting a controversial, five-year, $2,000-per-acre-foot pumping fee that was approved by the authority last week. Specifically, the desert groundwater basin about 100 miles northeast of Bakersfield in the Mojave Desert, is looking…

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