NEWS

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…
by Lois Henry
It’s all about water. At least this column will be. If you haven’t read the big, giant water bill that had Sen. Barbara Boxer’s panties in a big, giant twist, I encourage you to give it a skim. That bill has everything in it. Sure, it has provisions that will authorize some operational changes in the Sacramento-San…
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…
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…
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…
Poso Creek wreaked havoc on a number of northern Kern County farms in recent weeks, flooding thousands of acres. Farmers were busy patching levees and pumping remnants of the flood water off their lands Thursday. But even as berms were rebuilt and their fields dried, farmers eyed the giant Sierra snowpack and warned, “It’s not…
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…
by Lois Henry
Almonds take too much water. Wait, alfalfa is the bad guy. What about those water hogging geeks in Silicon Valley? No, no, no — that “evil” fracking is to blame. If it’s a day that ends in “y,” Californians are finding new water guzzling bogeymen to vilify. Meanwhile, economists are quietly shaking their heads. All…
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