NEWS

The popular motorist pitstop town of Kettleman City has sealed a deal to keep from running out of water. Kings County officials finalized a deal with the Mojave Water Agency this week to purchase 235 acre feet of water for Kettleman City from the southern California water agency at a cost of $1,400 per acre…
by Lois Henry
The Indian Wells Valley groundwater plan got a thumbs up from the state on Thursday but with a swarm of lawsuits surrounding the plan, it’s unclear what that approval will mean going forward. One of those lawsuits seeks a “comprehensive adjudication” of water rights of the Indian Wells Valley basin, which could reconfigure who has…
Tulare County farmers used to pumping groundwater at will are coming to the harsh reality that those days are numbered. For some, they’re already over. Pumping caps have been, or soon will be, implemented in all three groundwater sustainability agencies in the Kaweah subbasin,. “I’d say the reaction has been positive. Positively terrible,” said Mike…
Madera County, which acts as a groundwater sustainability agency for farmlands outside of irrigation district boundaries, was the first agency in California to institute groundwater pumping limits. Meanwhile, area irrigation districts haven’t implemented pumping restrictions. That has created what one farmer called an unfair advantage. But there are arguments on the other side that farmers…
It’s a new year and time to take stock. By that I mean, I’m super busy doing tons of paperwork for taxes and fundraisers and board meetings and haven’t had time to write. So, please enjoy this short WATER QUIZ (no cheating on the Google machine!) and feel free to talk among yourselves. 1. What…
Groundwater recharge seems to be priority No. 1 in the San Joaquin Valley’s scramble toward sustainability. With water restrictions on the horizon, groundwater managers can’t build recharge sites fast enough. But will it be enough? “That’s something that’s always on the forefront of my mind, is this going to be enough?” said Kassy Chaughan, executive…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
During a contentious Westlands Water District meeting on Tuesday where growers spoke out against district leadership, board members voted 8-1 to extend General Manager Tom Birmingham’s contract another three years. As has been the district’s recent practice, the contract extension came a year before Birmingham’s contract expires. Westlands growers criticized Birmingham, expressed frustration at the…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
Water watchers were anticipating a possible “drought busting” series of storms over the Christmas holidays after a strong assist from mid-December storms. The Dec. 14 storm brought about one to two inches of rain to a lot of the San Joaquin Valley floor, said David Spector, forecaster at the National Weather Service’s Hanford station. It…
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