NEWS

In a complete turnaround from its stance earlier this week, Kern County late Thursday dropped its requirement that groundwater agencies make certain findings about proposed new agricultural wells before it would consider issuing permits for those wells. The situation had reached a boiling point in the local ag community as the Kern County Environmental Health…
A California Senate proposal to spend $2 billion to buy senior water rights would focus mostly on rights in northern California watersheds with another large chunk aimed at farmland retirement throughout the state. The proposal is included in an $18.5 billion climate plan within the state  budget, which likely won’t be finalized until the end…
A San Joaquin Valley  groundwater agency may be “going rogue” on the issue of whether it’s responsible to protect all drinking water wells. A letter approved by the board of the Kings River East Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA), which covers eastern Fresno County and a chunk of northern Tulare County, says that it is “unreasonable”…
Valley groundwater agencies are mired in confusion and concern over Gov. Newsom’s March 28 executive drought order, which added new steps for permitting agricultural wells, according to agencies’ staff.  As groundwater agency managers scramble to hash out exactly how to comply with the order, well permits in some areas are stuck in limbo leaving well…
A pair of lawsuits focused on trespass and environmental issues surrounding construction of a 48-inch water pipeline in Kings County are, in many ways, just a token of a much larger issue: Groundwater leaving the county, a judge noted on Friday. “The fact that groundwater is an issue in this county isn’t disputed,” Judge Valerie…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water
New wells for agriculture will be more difficult to drill in the San Joaquin Valley under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent executive order in response to the ongoing drought. Part of the order prohibits new wells from being drilled without approval from local groundwater sustainability agencies (GSA) first. The GSAs must determine that new wells or…
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…
In the world of farming, not all crops are equal. That is starkly apparent when looking at how crops changed in the central and southern San Joaquin Valley since the beginning of the last drought, according to county crop reports. While most counties saw reductions in overall harvested acres between 2012 and 2020, they also…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.