NEWS

Fireworks were already popping between board members of a key Tulare County groundwater agency recently over an 11th hour attempt to rein in pumping in the severely overdrafted area. The main issue at the Eastern Tule Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) meeting June 6 was whether to require farmers in subsidence prone areas to install meters…
Probation has started for the Tulare Lake subbasin and farmers will be getting a list of “to-dos” in the mail this week. The State Water Resources Control Board is sending step-by-step instructions of what’s expected under this historic designation, in which board staff will begin collecting pumping information. The board declared the region under probation…
Concerns over how a newly built water bottling plant will impact the already over drafted aquifer prompted the Southern San Joaquin Municipal Utility District to sue the City of Delano last month. The district is asking that approvals for the Niagara water bottling plant be set aside and, ultimately, that a permanent injunction be granted…
In an effort to avoid the fate of their neighbors to the north, Kern County water managers are putting the finishing touches on a new groundwater plan they hope will stave off probation in order to keep state bureaucrats from taking over local pumping. The county’s 20 groundwater agency boards began approving final changes to…
Hundreds of landowners in the Tulare Lake groundwater subbasin overwhelmingly rejected proposed pumping fees this week that would have added thousands of dollars on top of fees they’re expected to start paying the state in coming months. The fee showdown at the Mid-Kings River Groundwater Sustainability Agency meeting April 23 came just a week after…
Last-ditch revisions being considered for the groundwater plan covering Kings County are not only “too little, too late” to avoid state intervention, according to one observer, they could be a death knell for smaller farmers. “We’re finished,” small farmer Doug Freitas said, of how the proposed revisions would affect his farm.  The heart of Freitas’…
The Friant-Kern Canal was called out specifically as one of the reasons the state should take over pumping in the Tule groundwater subbasin in Tulare County. The recommendation was contained in a recently released staff report to the Water Resources Control Board. While the report stated groundwater management plans covering the subbasin didn’t adequately address…
The small Kern-Tulare Water District moved forward recently in breaking away from two other groundwater agencies to form its own independent groundwater sustainability agency (GSA). As the state’s historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) turns 10 this year and the 2040 deadline to bring aquifers into balance edges closer, groundwater agencies have splintered and reformed…
When farmers fallowed thousands of acres during the recent drought, most didn’t expect they would be flooding those lands months later. But that’s what happened during last year’s historic floods after the state adapted LandFlex, a drought program, to take on some of the deluge from valley rivers.  “Our original intent with fallow land was…
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