NEWS

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…
When you first meet John Vidovich, everything from his ball cap to his dirty boots tells you he’s a farmer. He certainly looks the part in his well-worn jeans and checkered shirts. But this outwardly unassuming multimillionaire has become a lightning rod of controversy. Because, while he does farm thousands of acres of pistachios, almonds…
The good news is that more than 40 million pounds of petroleum hydrocarbons have been sucked — literally — out of the ground around the former Shell Oil (now Alon) refinery on Rosedale Highway. And the really good news is that toxic plume, which had been creeping toward the Kern River bed and several drinking-water…
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…
Local water folks are hopeful, but not holding their breath, that the latest congressional effort to move a little more water down the pike from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will actually succeed. Even if it does, I’m sure environmental activists already have their lawyers prepped and ready for launch. But it’s the holidays, so who…
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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