NEWS

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…
by Lois Henry
No action was reported following an hour-long closed session during a special meeting called to discuss the general manager position at the Kern County Water Agency. That means the vacant general manager position will remain vacant a while longer. The Agency has been without a general manager since Curtis Creel retired Dec. 7, 2019. This…
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