NEWS

More than a year after floods devastated the small town of Woodlake in Tulare County, residents finally feel hopeful about the future thanks to new infrastructure projects and an ongoing lawsuit they are bringing against local governments and other agencies.  In March of 2023, homes in northwest Woodlake were hit with floods after historic storms…
In late February, the nonprofit  Central Valley Joint Venture took a group of environmental scientists, advocates and nature enthusiasts on a tour of successful wetland restoration projects in the south San Joaquin Valley. The tour focused on the efforts to reclaim agricultural land for habitat and the possibility of returning more of the valley to…
A Tulare County official who’s faced multiple droughts and devastating floods over the past decade appreciated the California Water Commission’s latest “policy paper” on how best to respond to such calamities but she had some advice of her own for the state: Locals need resources – money, equipment, personnel – not just “words on paper.”…
How did Porterville, where a then raging Tule River cuts through the town, stay dry while so many other San Joaquin Valley communities got flooded out last spring? Planning, coordination and permits. Sounds simple, but it took officials from the city, irrigation district, Tulare County and federal offices years to establish. It paid off as…
A string of emails appears to show that one state agency stood in the way of stream channel maintenance for more than five years, which may have led to flooding that caused severe damage in Merced County, according to a recent lawsuit.  The emails begin in 2018 and go back and forth for years between…
by Lisa McEwen and Jesse Vad, SJV Water
Nearly 10 months after floods devastated parts of Planada and Woodlake, residents in both small towns have banded together, hired attorneys and are pursuing legal action. More than 250 households are involved between the two towns.  Residents in the Tulare County town of Springville are also working toward legal action after flooding knocked out wells…
After this year’s historic storms and devastating floods, the federal government has been swamped with requests from agencies across the San Joaquin Valley seeking reimbursement for repair costs.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided SJV Water a data sheet that enumerates more than 460 such requests from six counties, including Fresno, Madera, Merced, Kern…
Three dam expansion projects could increase water storage for use in the Central Valley by a whopping 304,000 acre feet. Each of the projects would raise existing dams, not build new ones. The project that is furthest along would raise the B.F. Sisk Dam in Merced County to expand San Luis Reservoir storage by 130,000…
All across Tulare County, the race is on to repair flood-damaged infrastructure before an anticipated El Niño winter and an even more looming expiration of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order that relaxed permitting for levee work and debris clean up. The work has lagged, though, as creeks and rivers are still flowing or the ground…
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