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Kern County Water Agency Director Bruce Hafenfeld dies at 73

 •  by Lois Henry

Bruce Allen Hafenfeld June 12, 1947 – January 19, 2021 https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/bakersfield/obituary.aspx?n=bruce-hafenfeld&pid=197637854 A LIFE WELL LIVED Bruce Allen Hafenfeld was born June 12, 1947, Orange CA. to Bernard Norman Hafenfeld and Barbara Jane Crosier. He went to be in the arms of the Lord January 19, 2021 with his family by his side after losing a…

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FloodsRivers

Kings River floodwater dispute goes to the state

 •  by Lois Henry

A bid by Kern County farmers to take Kings River floodwater officially got underway Tuesday as state regulators hashed out procedures and next steps with the various parties. An initial hearing had been set for April 15, but may now be pushed back to July, depending on how Administrative Hearing Officer Nicole Kuenzi rules. Kuenzi…

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DroughtSGMAWater Banking

Delano’s “big dig”

 •  by Lois Henry

The state’s new groundwater law has prompted a lot of dirt movement in the Central Valley. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act passed in 2014 mandates that overdrafted water basins get their aquifers in balance — don’t pump out more than goes back in — by 2040. In order to get there without massive farmland fallowing,…

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GroundwaterWater Markets

Water games: Madera farmers set to test market

 •  by Lois Henry

Madera County farmers are getting ready to play what could be the “game” of their livelihoods. The county groundwater sustainability agency will launch a groundwater market simulation, or game, next month as a way for growers to see if selling and trading their groundwater helps make the most of what will become a severely limited…

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Personalities

Longtime Kern water leader leaving for private sector

 •  by Lois Henry

Kern County’s water community had a shake-up Tuesday when longtime Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District General Manager Eric Averett announced he is leaving to take a private sector job. This comes on top of the pending retirement of another key local water manager. Richard Diamond, General Manager of North Kern Water Storage District, announced he…

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Rivers

Secret Kern River talks underway

 •  by Lois Henry

It’s hard to say what spurred “confidential mediation” over the Kern River that began last week. Could it be the relentless “Bring Back the Kern!” campaign by a group of young, Bakersfield residents? Could it be a sentence in a recent letter from the State Water Resources Control Board that said, in part, it “will…

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DroughtGroundwaterState System

Valley groundwater may get (small) slice of state’s $15 billion surplus

 •  by Lois Henry

The Governor’s proposal for how to spend California’s $15 billion surplus includes $60 million in direct grants to help replenish groundwater in the valley’s most depleted basins. The measure specifies the money is to be used in “critically over-drafted basins,” which lie mostly in the San Joaquin Valley. Water managers were pleasantly surprised, but not…

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Rivers

Valley irrigation district OKs plan to harvest mountain stream

 •  by Lois Henry

A plan to bring water from the South Fork of the Kern River through Isabella Lake and down 60 miles to farm fields west of Bakersfield was unanimously approved by the Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District board of directors on Tuesday. If the environmental documents supporting that plan survive what is sure to be a…

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