In this water-starved California town, one citrus farmer is trying to hang on

From the Desert Sun:

“Citrus groves spread out in rows across the desert in Borrego Springs, forming a lush green oasis against a backdrop of bone-dry mountains. When the grapefruit and lemon trees bloom on Jim Seley’s farm, the white blossoms fill the air with their sweet scent.  His father founded the farm in 1957, and Seley has been farming here since 1964. He and his son, Mike, manage the business, and they hope to pass it on to the next generation of Seleys.

But the farms of Borrego Springs, like the town and its golf courses, rely completely on groundwater pumped from the desert aquifer. And it’s unclear whether farming will be able to survive in this part of the Southern California desert west of the Salton Sea in San Diego County. … ”

Read more from the Desert Sun here:  In this water-starved California town, one citrus farmer is trying to hang on

Butte County: Helicopter survey should aid groundwater planning

From the Oroville Mercury Register:

“Butte County may soon have a better idea of what lies beneath its surface, thanks in part to the Kingdom of Denmark.  Starting in late November, a helicopter took off for several days from the Orland airport to fly a pattern over an area between Chico and Orland, and southeast into Butte Valley.  Dangling beneath the helicopter was a hoop loaded with devices that created a weak magnetic field and instruments that measured how that interacted with layers beneath the soil.

Christina Buck with the Butte County Department of Water and Resource Conservation explained that underground there are layers of sands and gravels that hold water, divided by layers of clay and silt that block water passage to different degrees. … ”

Read more from the Oroville Mercury-Register here:  Butte County: Helicopter survey should aid groundwater planning

Groundwater replenishment, seawater intrusion project approved by Soquel Creek Water District

From California Water News Daily:

“The Soquel Creek Water District (SCWD) Board of Directors recently certified the Final Environmental Impact Report (Final EIR) for its proposed Pure Water Soquel Groundwater Replenishment and Seawater Intrusion Prevention Project (Project).

The Dec. 18 board of directors meeting saw the unanimous approval of the Project plan following staff presentations, board discussion, and public input by more than 25 attendees. … ”

Continue reading at California Water News Daily here:  Groundwater replenishment, seawater intrusion project approved by Soquel Creek Water District

Indian Wells Valley: Groundwater Authority committees meet for first time in 2019

From the Ridgecrest Independent:

The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority Technical Advisory and Policy Advisory committees met Thursday at the Indian Wells Valley Water District boardroom.  Special Legal Counsel Jim Markman was present during both meetings, though he mainly spoke and gave updates on the pumping and allocation process during the first portion of the PAC meeting.

Markman discussed his encounters and experience up until this point with other legal counsel involved in a handful of successful water negotiations in California, all of which had different scenarios and factors to them to show the possible solutions and outcomes to the committee. … ”

Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Indian Wells Valley: Groundwater Authority committees meet for first time in 2019

Camp Fire effect on groundwater, wildlife still uncertain

From the Daily Democrat:

“The immediate, physical impact of the Camp Fire is plainly obvious to anyone who lost one of the nearly 14,000 homes in the blaze, or who sees the blistered remains of buildings that once made up the town of Paradise.

But less immediately visible are the scars wildfire can inflict on the local environment, including surface water, groundwater and the wildlife population. … “

Read more from the Daily Democrat here:  Camp Fire effect on groundwater, wildlife still uncertain

Antelope Valley: Watermaster staff cuts near?

From the Antelope Valley Press:

“The Antelope Valley Watermaster, the body tasked with overseeing the 2015 court settlement that set limits on groundwater pumping for users across the Valley, will look to reduce administrative costs in the coming year by shifting some of the work to staff from the con­tract­ed watermaster engineer, now that procedures are in place to make some matters more or less routine.

On Wednesday, the watermaster board accepted a proposal put forth by the Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency, the Palmdale Water District and the Quartz Hill Water District to provide administrative services for the coming year for a proposed $108,901. … “

Read more from the Antelope Valley Press here:  Antelope Valley: Watermaster staff cuts near?

Apparently, size matters to some on the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority board

“Mutual water companies and environmental groups have been waiting a year to find out what their participation in the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority might look like. The question of Associate Members and Interested Parties was on last Thursday’s agenda, but potential members of either category may never get a seat at the table.

The Joint Powers Authority that set the guidelines for the formation of the Owens Valley basin’s groundwater sustainability agency spelled out participation of groups other than governmental agencies. It was complicated, but gave a voice to groups outside the immediate circle. … “

Read more from the Sierra Wave here:  Apparently, size matters to some on the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority board

Ventura County: Groundwater agency mulls multitude of allocation plans, postpones final decision

From the Ventura County Star:

“A board that manages groundwater allocations made no final decisions on a pumping formula last week, but gave preliminary support to a proposal that restricts agricultural users.

The Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency considered a plan Wednesday that would allow agricultural uses to pump 56,000 acre-feet of water starting next year and municipal and industrial uses to pump 36,000 acre-feet, representing a 60 percent vs. 40 percent split between the two groups. … ”

Read more from the Ventura County Star here:  Ventura County:  Groundwater agency mulls multitude of allocation plans, postpones final decision

Nevada Irrigation District directors hear groundwater plan update:

From The Union:

 “The Nevada Irrigation District Board of Directors received an update about the Groundwater Sustainability Plan Development and authorized a contract for work at Scotts Flat Campground, during its Wednesday meeting.

Directors got an update on the California Sustainable Groundwater Management Act from the West Placer Groundwater Sustainability Agency, including development of the required Groundwater Sustainability Plan. … ”

Read more from The Union here: Nevada Irrigation District directors hear groundwater plan update