NEWS

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…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water
Though $40 million was added to the state’s farmland retirement pot, some worry it won’t be nearly enough. Gov. Gavin Newsom authorized the funding Tuesday night to be added to the state’s new Multibenefit Land Repurposing Program. The program, initially funded with $50 million in 2021,  pays for farmland to be taken out of production…
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…
The state kicked Madera County groundwater plans back for a redo on Thursday, noting, in particular, that they had set water levels so low it could endanger hundreds of domestic wells. The plans also all but ignored ongoing damage to roads, bridges and canals caused by sinking land, subsidence, opting mostly to “monitor” the situation….
Art Chianello, who has led Bakersfield’s Water Resources Department through two of the state’s worst droughts and one of its wettest years on record, is retiring at the end of September. Most municipal water departments are fairly quiet operations. As long as water comes out of taps, not many people pay attention. But the Bakersfield…
There’s no word, yet, of state intervention in the ongoing water war between two of Kings County’s largest growers – John Vidovich and the J.G. Boswell Company – but there has been fallout. Kimberly Brown, a board member of  the Southwest Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency, resigned August 10 in protest of last-minute language added to…
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