NEWS

by Lois Henry
The grassroots group Bring Back the Kern has launched a new public awareness campaign to pluck residents’ memories of a flowing river through Bakersfield. Bring Back the Kern, formed in 2020, advocates finding ways for water to flow through the Kern River channel through town on a more frequent and consistent basis. The group has…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
California’s reservoirs and rivers are startlingly low, forcing many of the state’s more than 270 hydropower facilities to generate less power. Lake Oroville, one of the state’s largest reservoirs, made headlines because its water levels have dropped so low the power plant may need to shut down for the first time. While most other hydropower…
Richard L. Schafer left an “indelible” imprint on water systems — and the people who run them — in the southern San Joaquin Valley over his extensive career. The longtime Tule River Water Master, who had worked with just about every agricultural water district in the area, died Thursday. He was 95. Aside from his…
The epicenter of dry wells during California’s last devastating drought was undoubtedly Porterville. The small Tulare County town saw wells go dry enmasse in its unincorporated east side. It became a national headline as the media descended. Amid the glare of tv cameras, the state pledged to help and agreed to build three new wells….
The Cross Valley Canal is a key cog in the southern San Joaquin Valley’s water machinery. It moves water east and west between the California Aqueduct along Kern County’s western edge to the Kern County Water Agency’s facilities near Manor Street in Bakersfield. Along the way, it also connects with the federally owned Friant-Kern Canal,…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
The drought in California is making headlines every day across the country, and for good reason: Almost the entire state is in severe drought. And the whole San Joaquin Valley is experiencing extreme or exceptional drought, the two worst categories. As journalists set their sights on California, many news stories highlight impacts on farmers, particularly…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
Central Valley cattle ranchers are gearing up for a fight against what they see as groundwater rustling. Their fear is that newly formed groundwater agencies in some areas could devalue their land by not giving them a fair share of their own groundwater. Ranchers believe those fears were realized on June 8 when the Madera…
by Lois Henry
On schedule is probably the sweetest phrase a project manager can hear. For projects that are the size and scope of repairs to the Isabella and Schafer dams, being on schedule is especially important. “It’s been a long time coming and now we’re close to the finish line,” said Richard Brown, a spokesman for the…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
California’s canals are sinking. Excessive groundwater pumping has collapsed the land beneath several key canals, crimping their ability to move water. Fixing them will be expensive. There are two bills moving through the state Legislature and Congress that could provide some funding. This is the second try for the state bill, Senate Bill 559 by…
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