NEWS

Longtime Westlands Water District General Manager Tom Birmingham announced Nov. 23 that he will retire as of Dec. 31. “I am retiring with extreme pride in the things Westlands had accomplished over the last two decades,” he wrote in an email announcement. Birmingham had faced the likelihood that a newly-elected majority on the Westlands board…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water
The San Joaquin River is a vital source of water for agriculture and the environment and it is also home to a unique program that hopes to restore native fish runs. It is a complex program and SJV Water was fortunate to take advantage of a tour offered through the Water Education Foundation Nov. 2-3…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water
A controversial proposed dam seems to have a new pathway forward. But how far will it get through California’s byzantine world of water rights? Nobody seems to agree on an answer.  The Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir is a joint project between the Del Puerto Water District and the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractor Authority on…
by Rose Horowitch, SJV Water reporting intern
A lawsuit over groundwater plans in the northern end of the San Joaquin Valley is being closely watched as it could have implications for how the state’s groundwater mandate moves forward, according to a recent briefing on the issue at the Kern Groundwater Authority. At the Nov. 16 meeting, authority attorney Valerie Kincaid explained that…
by Jesse Vad and Rose Horowitch, SJV Water
Both sides of a controversial proposed Central Valley dam hailed a Nov. 3 court ruling kicking back the project’s environmental documents as a success. A Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge ruled there was insufficient information about a road relocation that is part of the proposed Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir project, which would sit just above…
by Lois Henry
Flows on the lower Kern River are split up among a hydra of canals starting just west of Hart Park. We talk with local experts who explain who owns those canals and where the water goes under the Law of the River. There’s a lot to learn so we’re splitting the lower Kern into two…
by Jesse Vad and Lois Henry, SJV Water
A long simmering water war between Kings County’s two biggest farming entities blew up Wednesday over groundwater when the state rejected the region’s plan to shore up its declining aquifer. The fallout could be significant if the state pursues enforcement, which could include pumping limits, steep fines and fees for all groundwater users in the…
The Kern River isn’t special. Rivers and streams throughout California are fought over with just as much passion and vehemence as the Kern River has seen from the 1880s to the present. But opposing parties on some of those rivers have found their way to compromise. The Putah Creek in northern California is one such…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.