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Historic move: Fresno River rights to be decided

 •  by Lois Henry

If all you’ve ever seen of the Fresno River is through Madera as you drive over it on Highway 99, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s just a weed-infested, shopping cart collector rather than a real river. But there’s a lot to this unobtrusive waterway, which just made history as the first river in 40…

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Federal SystemFriant-Kern CanalGroundwater

Friant-Kern Canal fix approved over concerns the plan isn’t fully baked

 •  by Lois Henry

The Friant Water Authority on Thursday approved the final environmental review for a massive project to fix a 33-mile segment of the Friant-Kern Canal despite continued questions about funding and other concerns expressed by some Friant contractors. One water manager compared the plan to several bungled construction projects, including California’s High Speed Rail and a…

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ConservationGroundwaterWater Markets

“Madness and arrogance” blamed for one lawsuit against desert groundwater agency

 •  by Lois Henry

Two lawsuits accusing the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority of ramming through a plan that ignores water rights and, according to one plaintiff, is intended to “destroy agriculture” were filed this week. At issue is a controversial $2,000-per-acre-foot fee approved by the authority last month that would be charged to certain groundwater users over a…

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Federal SystemGroundwaterRiversState System

Happy 50th “Kern Riversary!” 1970 vote brought river into public hands

 •  by Lois Henry

Fifty years ago this week, the Bakersfield City Council committed an audaciously historic act. On Monday evening Sept. 28, 1970, council members decided to sue Tenneco West for a slice of the Kern River. “The shock was great to many, but from that day forward we had their attention and cooperation,” states the “Kern River…

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