NEWS

by Jesse Vad, SJV Water
A controversial proposed dam seems to have a new pathway forward. But how far will it get through California’s byzantine world of water rights? Nobody seems to agree on an answer.  The Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir is a joint project between the Del Puerto Water District and the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractor Authority on…
In a fast-paced trip through the evolution of California’s water rights, attorney Valerie Kincaid explained how the system has gone from the “wild, wild west” to one pervaded by ever greater government creep. By expanding its authorities under what had been thought of as several limited court decisions, state government is now essentially dictating operations…
A California Senate proposal to spend $2 billion to buy senior water rights would focus mostly on rights in northern California watersheds with another large chunk aimed at farmland retirement throughout the state. The proposal is included in an $18.5 billion climate plan within the state  budget, which likely won’t be finalized until the end…
If you’re living in excited anticipation of the next batch of legal action on several San Joaquin Valley rivers now under scrutiny by the rights division of the State Water Resources Control Board, you may want to cool your jets. That doesn’t mean absolutely nothing has been happening on the Fresno, Kings and Kern rivers….
by Michael Elizabeth Sakas, Colorado Public Radio
This piece is part of a collaboration that includes the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), California Health Report, Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism, Circle of Blue, Colorado Public Radio, Columbia Insight, The Counter, High Country News, New Mexico In Depth and SJV Water. The project was made possible by a grant from the Water Foundation…
by Eli Frankovich, Columbia Insight
This piece is part of a collaboration that includes the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), California Health Report, Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism, Circle of Blue, Colorado Public Radio, Columbia Insight, The Counter, High Country News, New Mexico In Depth and SJV Water. The project was made possible by a grant from the Water Foundation…
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 Lois Henry
It was clear during the first hearing on the Kern River Tuesday that the public has a seat at the table as never before. Tuesday’s hearing was mostly procedural — setting out which issues would be sorted first and how. Permeating the discussion at nearly every turn, however, was the public trust doctrine, which gives…
California water regulators are preparing to do what they’ve been warning about for months – cut the spigot to thousands of water rights holders. The state Water Resources Control Board will consider an emergency order at its August 3 meeting that would bar farmers, cities and others from continuing to tap into rivers that feed…
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.