NEWS

by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
Phones were ringing practically non-stop at Self-Help Enterprises toward the end of this summer with valley residents all calling about the same problem: Their wells had gone dry. Employees were fielding 100s of calls a month from people whose wells had dried up, Marliez Diaz wrote in an email. Diaz is a water sustainability manager…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
Water transfers, trades and sales doubled this year as drought left San Joaquin Valley farmers scrambling for supplies. “This has been kind of an exceptional year for transfers,” said Sam Boland-Brien, program manager at the State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Water Rights. Boland-Brien said he’s seen about twice the amount of transfers this…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
Dry wells are starting to crop up throughout California’s San Joaquin Valley as the 2021 drought digs in. And as the parched state barrels toward summer, the risk of more wells going dry is increasing. For some, that possibility is already a scary reality. Misty Vasquez was at work in December, when her husband called…
by Lois Henry
Editor’s note: This article was produced by SJV Water, the Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism (CCIJ) and the New York Times. The collaboration between SJV Water and CCIJ was led by the Institute for Nonprofit News as part of a project called “Tapped Out: Power, justice and water in the West.”   This story was written with funding from the…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
When Sandra Chavez’ mother discovered she had stage four cancer last year, one of Sandra’s first thoughts was about their water. Her family’s private well is contaminated with nitrates and Chavez wondered if years of drinking the water could have caused her mother’s sickness. Chavez and her family have relied on bottled water since they…
by Lois Henry
Is there water available on the Kern River and, if so, how much? Parties to the long-running river dispute will finally get a hearing by the State Water Resources Control Board on those questions, at least. The big question — who should get the water? — will have to wait. Still, this is the first…
by Lois Henry
A bid by Kern County farmers to take Kings River floodwater officially got underway Tuesday as state regulators hashed out procedures and next steps with the various parties. An initial hearing had been set for April 15, but may now be pushed back to July, depending on how Administrative Hearing Officer Nicole Kuenzi rules. Kuenzi…
by Lois Henry
If all you’ve ever seen of the Fresno River is through Madera as you drive over it on Highway 99, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s just a weed-infested, shopping cart collector rather than a real river. But there’s a lot to this unobtrusive waterway, which just made history as the first river in 40…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.