NEWS

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…
In the chronically overpumped San Joaquin Valley, groundwater recharge can’t happen fast enough. And researchers at University of California, Davis and Stanford University have found underground highways that could put recharge into the fast lane.  In a new paper released today, scientists show that airborne electromagnetic (AEM) surveys flown with helicopters can locate ancient underground…
by Rose Horowitch, SJV Water reporting intern
After an election night marked by statewide victories for moderate Democrats, one of the San Joaquin Valley’s biggest agricultural water districts assessed how best to maintain its influence.  During the Nov. 9 Board of Directors meeting of the Semitropic Water Storage District, former Democratic state senator Dean Florez, now a lobbyist for Semitropic, updated the…
The makeup of the Westlands Water District board will change this election – shifting power to a coalition of growers with a list of new actions, at the top of which appears to be ousting longtime General Manager Tom Birmingham. “There needs to be a change of leadership, that’s a foundational issue,” said Sarah Woolf,…
by Rose Horowitch, SJV Water reporting intern
Two more members of the Kern Groundwater Authority (KGA) announced that they will form their own groundwater sustainability agencies, continuing a pattern of members distancing themselves from Kern County’s largest groundwater agency. The Shafter-Wasco Irrigation District and North Kern Water Storage District will each form their own GSA, it was announced at the Oct. 26…
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…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.