NEWS

A water rights bill that made it through the Legislature this year is, arguably, a much weakened version of its original form, but the fact that it addresses senior rights at all is a significant step, according to experts. Senate Bill 389, which clarifies the state Water Resources Control Board’s ability to investigate senior water…
by Rose Horowitch, SJV Water reporting intern
A high-desert groundwater agency in eastern Kern County that’s in the midst of buying water from Kings County in the San Joaquin Valley, recently considered alternatives for how to actually get that water up and over the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority, which covers the Ridgecrest area, got updates on…
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…
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