Westlands growers fear groundwater power grab by district general manager

March 15, 2022
Jesse Vad, SJV Water
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water
Almond trees stretch toward the foothills of the Coast Range in the western San Joaquin Valley. SOURCE: Westlands Water District, GSA Groundwater Sustainability Plan.
Jesse Vad, SJV Water
Jesse Vad, SJV Water

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Divisions are deepening within the giant Westlands Water District as some growers fear the district’s longtime, controversial general manager is amassing too much power.

In mid-February, district staff proposed new groundwater rules that would give General Manager Tom Birmingham almost total control over how groundwater is accounted for and to which grower accounts it would be credited, according to district growers.

It was a move that shocked some and prompted a group of growers to

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Jesse Vad, SJV Water }

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