NEWS

The state Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced Dec. 1 that it would provide 5% of contracted amounts across the board for agricultural and municipal customers in 2023. That may sound bad, but the initial allocation announced for 2022 was 0% for ag and only enough water for municipal contractors to protect health and safety….
by Lois Henry
Several public interest groups sued the City of Bakersfield Nov. 30 alleging the city has been derelict in its operation of the Kern River by diverting most of its flows to agriculture and other uses leaving a dry riverbed through the heart of town. “The river is dry, but not because of a lack of…
Longtime Westlands Water District General Manager Tom Birmingham announced Nov. 23 that he will retire as of Dec. 31. “I am retiring with extreme pride in the things Westlands had accomplished over the last two decades,” he wrote in an email announcement. Birmingham had faced the likelihood that a newly-elected majority on the Westlands board…
by Rose Horowitch, SJV Water reporting intern
A lawsuit over groundwater plans in the northern end of the San Joaquin Valley is being closely watched as it could have implications for how the state’s groundwater mandate moves forward, according to a recent briefing on the issue at the Kern Groundwater Authority. At the Nov. 16 meeting, authority attorney Valerie Kincaid explained that…
The Water Association of Kern County held its annual meeting and dinner Nov. 9 where it awarded its “Water Leader of the Year” and “Water Legacy Awards” to two longtime figures in the local farming and water worlds. Following is the association’s press release: BAKERSFIELD, CA – The Water Association of Kern County proudly presented…
In the chronically overpumped San Joaquin Valley, groundwater recharge can’t happen fast enough. And researchers at University of California, Davis and Stanford University have found underground highways that could put recharge into the fast lane.  In a new paper released today, scientists show that airborne electromagnetic (AEM) surveys flown with helicopters can locate ancient underground…
The math was not in Tom Birmingham’s favor. It was clear weeks before the Nov. 8 election that the board of the massive Westlands Water District in western Fresno County would be changing. And that change would likely result in the controversial General Manager’s ouster. There were four board seats up for election. A preliminary…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.