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In what appears to be a game of water chicken, at least one Kern County groundwater sustainability agency is refusing to sign a crucial document required to keep the entire subbasin out of state control. Buena Vista GSA General Manager Tim Ashlock said Monday that his agency won’t sign a five-year “coordination agreement” with Kern’s…
A coordination agreement approved Wednesday by the Kern Groundwater Authority is just cover for continued overpumping, according to the Buena Vista Groundwater Sustainability Agency, which has refused to sign on to the document for a five-year term. It’s unclear if that refusal may put the entire Kern subbasin into probationary status under the state’s new…
The relative lull in lawsuits over Kern River water was broken Dec. 11 when Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District filed a complaint against the City of Bakersfield. Rosedale’s complaint, filed in Kern County Superior Court, demands that the city keep selling a portion of river water to the district under a layer cake of agreements…
Heavy groundwater pumping to sustain a massive increase in orchards and vineyards in the San Joaquin Valley has brought the state’s main water artery to the brink of permanent damage, according to report released by the Department of Water Resources Dec. 31. If groundwater pumping near the California Aqueduct continues at current levels through the…
State water officials are blaming almond and pistachio orchards for sinking the California Aqueduct before all the evidence is in, according to one western Kern County water district manager. “They need to do more homework,” said Jason Gianquinto, General Manager of the Semitropic Water Storage District. “It’s easy to say, ‘Hey, this area is subsiding…
by Lois Henry
After months of fireworks over low-ball pumping numbers and concerns that some groundwater agencies wouldn’t get on board, Kern’s last Groundwater Sustainability Plan was approved Wednesday with barely a murmur. The Kern Groundwater Authority board of directors voted unanimously to adopt its final GSP with just two weeks to spare before the massive document is…
The federal government has OKed a 20-year extension of a water exchange program for one Central Valley water district that another district says will illegally foul its water. The Bureau of Reclamation billed the exchange program as a way to “optimize water supplies and reduce pumping impacts” by allowing a group of Westlands Water District…
by Lois Henry
A powerful water position changed hands unexpectedly Thursday when longtime Kern County Water Agency Board President Ted Page lost his post to fellow director Royce Fast. A typically routine annual election of officers took a dramatic turn as Page, visibly upset, opened the meeting, then stood and said he …”never intended to create a situation…
Reaction was hushed when Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District General Manager Eric Averett asked the small group of farmers Tuesday morning if any were interested in buying irrigation water at the previously unheard of price of $770 an acre foot. No papers rustled. Keyboards went silent. And none of the growers raised a hand. Such…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.