NEWS

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…
–California’s crippling three-year drought is revealing the unique water vulnerabilities of small towns across the San Joaquin Valley. And while the state has stepped in to help impoverished communities and residents whose wells have gone dry due to plummeting groundwater levels, the handful of towns on the valley’s west side that rely on surface supplies…
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…
A long defunct fish ladder on an historic dam on the Merced River is the focus of a public trust lawsuit by advocacy group Water Audit California. The lawsuit, filed in late September, demands the Merced Irrigation District repair and properly maintain a fish ladder on the Crocker-Huffman Dam, about 30 miles northeast of 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…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water
There will be a penalty for over pumping groundwater in Madera County, but it won’t be as painful as it could have been. That was the upshot from a nearly three-hour – sometimes fiery – meeting on Tuesday of the Madera County Board of Supervisors. Supervisors opted for a penalty of $100 per acre foot…
In a fast-paced trip through the evolution of California’s water rights, attorney Valerie Kincaid explained how the system has gone from the “wild, wild west” to one pervaded by ever greater government creep. By expanding its authorities under what had been thought of as several limited court decisions, state government is now essentially dictating operations…
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