NEWS

by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
This story was produced with funding and support from Fresnoland, for the Fresno Bee. Republishing is encouraged 48 hours after initial posting. The longer it takes for two new wells to be dug in Cantua Creek and El Porvenir in western Fresno County, the deeper in debt the towns are mired. Now, with the drought, those well projects are…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
Some San Joaquin Valley farmers could someday have a new “crop” to sell —  their groundwater. In the face of looming groundwater pumping restrictions, some groundwater agencies are looking at internal markets to give growers a way to save water and still earn a profit. These nascent markets are still in the talking and tinkering…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
This story was produced with funding and support from Fresnoland, for the Fresno Bee. Republishing is encouraged 48 hours after initial posting.     Life in Tooleville wasn’t easy before the latest drought. Residents of this tiny, two-road farmworker community, tucked into the edge of the Sierra Nevada foothills in eastern Tulare County, have been living on bottled water…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
One farmer has single handedly ramped up the pace of a program trying to save native salmon in the San Joaquin River by donating a key sliver of land to the federal government. Connley Clayton donated about eight acres of his Madera County riverfront land to the government’s San Joaquin River Restoration Program. The land…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
A bill that would create a program to help growers find other uses for farmland idled because of groundwater pumping restrictions won approval by a Senate committee, bringing it closer to the Governor’s desk. AB 252, known as the multibenefit land repurposing incentive program, passed the Senate Appropriations Committee August 26. The bill, authored by…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
Lawmakers may be close to passing a bill aimed at helping farmers cope with water restrictions. Assembly Bill 252, the Multibenefit Land Repurposing Incentive Program, would set up a program under the California Department of Conservation to use grant money for repurposing former ag land in critically over drafted groundwater basins. The bill was authored…
by Jesse Vad and Lois Henry
This story was produced with funding and support from Fresnoland, for the Fresno Bee. Republishing is encouraged 48 hours after initial posting.   A lot has happened over the past five years, but not much has changed in the tiny farmworker town of Okieville. Wells went dry enmasse in Tulare County, including in Okieville, during the last…
by Lois Henry
It was clear during the first hearing on the Kern River Tuesday that the public has a seat at the table as never before. Tuesday’s hearing was mostly procedural — setting out which issues would be sorted first and how. Permeating the discussion at nearly every turn, however, was the public trust doctrine, which gives…
by Lois Henry
A battle of groundwater banks is underway in Kern County with accusations that one is poised to mine the local aquifer and sell water outside the area. The two main combatants are the massive Kern Water Bank, which covers 32-square miles straddling Interstate 5 west of Bakersfield, and the Buena Vista Water Storage District, which…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
In California’s water world, long dominated almost exclusively by men, women are blazing a path — sometimes straight to the top.  “I think water is changing,” said Karla Nemeth, director of California’s Department of Water Resources. “There’s more and more of an understanding that as a society and even politically, we’re not going to get…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.