NEWS

by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
California may only be one year into the drought, but its toll feels much bigger to San Joaquin Valley livestock operators. “It’s as bad as we’ve seen it in probably 15 years,” said Andrée Soares, president of Star Creek Land Stewards, Inc. “Animals have to be fed 24 hours a day, seven days a week….
by Lois Henry
Whether the Kern River truly has spare water and, if so, how much, has been left up in the air for more than a decade. Now, 11 years after the State Water Resources Control Board ruled the Kern  River was not fully appropriated, it will finally start the process of getting at those two key…
by Lois Henry
Southern San Joaquin Valley Rivers are running at near historic lows — again. In fact, the Bakersfield City Council passed a resolution Wednesday officially declaring the Kern River as running at only 17% of normal, it’s second driest year since record keeping began in 1893. The driest year on record was 2015, the worst year…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
Job alert: The Shafter-Wasco Irrigation District, which serves nearly 30,000 acres of farms in Kern County, is hiring a new general manager. But what exactly does the general manager of an irrigation district do? It’s a question that isn’t easily answered, even by water executives themselves. “I found it very hard to describe what I…
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,…
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