“When it opened in 1951, the Friant-Kern Canal carried at least 4,000 cubic feet of water per second along its route from Millerton Lake, north of Fresno, to Bakersfield.
Then something unfortunate happened. A 25-mile stretch of land between Terra Bella and Pixley began to sink, and kept sinking, to the point that the canal’s gravity-powered water flow has slowed to about 1,700 cubic feet per second.
The subsidence, caused by over-pumping of groundwater during drought years, means 60 percent less drinking and irrigation water can be delivered to communities along the 152-mile conveyance. … ”
Read more from Bakersfield.com here: Engineers design repairs to sunken section of Friant-Kern Canal while politicians look for funding
“San Luis Obispo County supervisors are exploring what it’d take to bolster the county’s authority in issuing groundwater well permits.
Following a report about groundwater conditions in the Adelaida region of the North County on Feb. 26, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to have its staff look at how it could increase the level of review and discretion the county has over approving or denying well applications. … ”
Read more from New Times SLO here: SLO County eyes new rules on well drilling
“About 60 people turned out Wednesday afternoon at the Paso Library Conference Room for a special meeting of the Paso Basin Cooperative Committee.
The committee includes Chairperson John Hamon, (who requested a new chair be elected at the next meeting), Joe Parent of San Miguel, Vice Chair and County Supervisor John Peschong and Secretary Willy Cunha of Shandon-San Juan.
Those committee members all attended yesterday, although John Hamon left early to attend Ash Wednesday ceremonies, so alternate committee member Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin filled in for the latter part of the meeting. … ”
Read more from the Paso Robles Daily News here: Dozens attend special Paso Basin Cooperative Committee meeting
“California farmer Brenton Kelly still remembers how the Cuyama Valley used to be. The valley, located in California’s Central Coast region, has long been home to an abundance of wildlife.
Historically, the land has been used for cattle pastures, and featured “beautiful rolling grassy hill” and an “amazing wildflower show,” according to Kelly. These days, however, the land has been taken over by large commercial farms and vineyards, Kelly said. … ”
Read more from the Harvard Crimson here: After local outcry, a Harvard-owned vineyard project faces environmental review
“Local growers and others met last week for a triple tour of Madera County water users Friday and an on-farm groundwater recharge workshop Wednesday.
What we’re trying to do is get different types of beneficial users together so that they can listen to each other’s successes and challenges,” said county Water and Natural Resources Department director Stephanie Anagnoson about the tours.
Participants visited AgriLand Farming Company in Chowchilla, Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in Fairmead, and the Ellis Recharge Basin in northeast Madera. The stops were part of a special meeting of the Advisory Committee for area groundwater sustainability agencies. … ”
Read more from the Madera Tribune here: Madera County growers tackle water issues
“Although part of San Diego County, Borrego Springs is definitely off the beaten path. The small community is a two-hour drive from downtown San Diego.
“The remoteness of ourselves — there’s no freeway coming here,” said Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce President Patrick Sampson, who is also general manager of the La Casa Del Zorro resort. “If you’re going to Borrego Springs — you’re coming to Borrego Springs.” … ”
Read more from KPBS here: In Borrego Springs Tourism, Farming Industries Face Uncertainty With Looming Water Cuts
” … For decades, farmers and businesses have pumped groundwater out of California’s aquifers, the permeable layers of rock that hold water underground, and the results have been frightening. As aquifers drain faster than rain can replenish them, the ground actually sinks, a phenomenon called “subsidence.” In areas where building and roads rest atop the ground, this can cause damage. …
If California is going to prevent further depletion of aquifers and survive droughts like the one that afflicted it from 2011 to 2017, the state will need to manage its groundwater usage. In the central valley, a group of organizations is working on a project that could stem the tide by combining two technologies: the internet of things (IoT) and Blockchain. … ”
Read more from Digital Trends here: Blockchain is overhyped, but it’s also perfect for California’s drought problem
“The passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014 was a watershed moment, establishing the first statewide framework for managing California’s critical groundwater resources. Under this framework, one of the key challenges facing newly formed local government agencies responsible for groundwater management is to establish and implement quantitative metrics for sustainability.
To help local agencies do this, a new report from Water in the West examines how four special act districts in California have used quantitative thresholds to adaptively manage groundwater.
These case studies provide valuable insights on the development and implementation of performance metrics and will be important in guiding local agencies. … ”
Read more from Stanford News here: Measuring success in groundwater management
“Heavy rains this winter will help replenish groundwater aquifers and benefit projects that use excess surface water to recharge groundwater basins. Water managers say such projects will be key to addressing California’s groundwater woes.
At the California Department of Water Resources, planners focus on a voluntary strategy known as Flood-MAR, which stands for “managed aquifer recharge.” The strategy combines floodwater operations and groundwater management in an effort to benefit working landscapes, and could also aid local groundwater agencies as they implement the state Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which requires overdrafted groundwater basins to be in balance by the 2040s. … ”
Read more from Ag Alert here: Wet winter aids groundwater replenishment
“In some California basins, sustainable groundwater management can mean the difference between whether a species goes extinct or a community’s drinking water becomes contaminated. The stakes are high.
Felice Pace, an activist who works for the North Coast Stream Flow Coalition, talks to Clean Water Action about salmon, surface flows, and the importance of community involvement in the Smith and Scott River Groundwater Sustainability Plans.”