NEWS

An ongoing tiff over construction of a large water pipeline in Kings County has gone airborne, according to a lawsuit filed by Sandridge Partners. Sandridge, controlled by John Vidovich, is accusing the J.G. Boswell Company of purposely “buzzing” cattle on its lands using a large helicopter. The actions have been ongoing since late January through…
The state has $50 million to spend to retire farmland, which it intends to give out as block grants to local agencies, tribes and nonprofits in the San Joaquin Valley. But there are strings attached to the money. The groups that receive the block grants will have to work directly with farmers and community members…
Divisions are deepening within the giant Westlands Water District as some growers fear the district’s longtime, controversial general manager is amassing too much power. In mid-February, district staff proposed new groundwater rules that would give General Manager Tom Birmingham almost total control over how groundwater is accounted for and to which grower accounts it would…
In California’s byzantine water world, some water districts are, apparently, more equal than others, to paraphrase George Orwell. That appears to be the case in the federally operated Central Valley Project, particularly when it comes to two main sets of water districts: the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors and the Friant Contractors. On Feb. 27,…
Heavy equipment blockading a pipeline project from cutting through a canal was ordered removed on Friday and the pipeline project was halted temporarily by a Kings County Superior Court judge. The fight between the Tulare Lake Canal Company, controlled by the J.G. Boswell Company, and Sandridge Partners, controlled by John Vidovich, will be back in…
If you know your way around impoverished, rural communities with bad drinking water in the San Joaquin Valley, the state needs your help. A highly anticipated $130 million annual program to fix bad drinking water systems in disadvantaged communities has sputtered getting off the ground because the state can’t seem to connect with residents. So,…
by Lois Henry
Longtime water board member in the Santa Cruz area Lois Henry (not this reporter) has resigned her position on the San Lorenzo Valley Water District. Why should San Joaquin Valley readers care? Because she’s a strong leader who brought a lot of practical, common sense to delivering clean, reliable drinking water to her neighbors and,…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water
California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) conducted its third snow survey of the season and the outlook is not good for the state’s water users. The survey recorded 35 inches of snow at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada mountains below Lake Tahoe. That’s about 68% of average for this time of year. Statewide, snowpack…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.