NEWS

by Lois Henry
The county continued its pattern on Tuesday of declaring itself a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) over the exact boundaries previously declared a GSA by water agencies. To date, the Kern Board of Supervisors has “filed over” five nascent GSAs, creating a lot of grumbling and ill will along the way. (I’ll get back to that.)…
by Lois Henry
Agricultural land values in the Central Valley, and Kern County, have slipped a bit but most analysts aren’t worried about a major drop. Though water will become a larger question mark in coming years. For now, analysts are looking at the recent dip in values as more of a “breather” from the meteoric rates at…
It’s all about the water. As far as agricultural land values, that is. A new report on the outlook for Kern County ag land values shows water emerging as a major deciding factor in what land is worth, according to Michael Ming, a broker for Alliance Ag Services LLC. His report shows that, depending on…
If all had gone as planned six years ago, the failed McAllister Ranch housing development would be brimming with water right now. Instead, the two agricultural water districts that had hoped to turn the foreclosed subdivision into a groundwater bank are now in court over the 2,000-acre property. The whirlwind courtship that brought Rosedale-Rio Bravo…
Well, that didn’t take long. It’s been less than a month since Buena Vista Water Storage District bought the remaining 600 acres of the failed McAllister Ranch subdivision and it’s already butting heads with Bakersfield city officials. Like, major league butting. The city cited the water district last week for excavating several ditches on the…
by Lois Henry
There’s a reason Matt Hurley wears so many hats, his critics say. And he does wear a lot of hats: General manager of Angiola Water District, Green Valley Water District and Deer Creek Storm Water District; chairman of the newly formed Tri-County Water Authority; and he’s a director on the Fresno Slough Water District and…
The numbers are in and they are good. Amazing, actually. The April 1 manual snowpack survey for the Kern River basin shows we are at an overall 215 percent of average, according to the Department of Water Resources. (See side box for particulars.) The basin was at 49 percent of average last year and that…
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…
by Lois Henry
Will we get the water? That’s the question everyone’s been asking. (And by everyone, I mean the other five or six people I know who are as weirdly interested in water as I am.) Storms are dumping, rivers are rising and lakes are filling — finally. Will we be able to squirrel that water away…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.