Topic: San Joaquin Valley

Overview

San Joaquin Valley

The San Joaquin Valley stretches from across mid-California between coastal ranges in west and the Sierras on the east. The region includes large cities such as Fresno and Bakersfield, national parks such as Yosemite and Kings and fertile farmland and multi-billion dollar agriculture industry.

The federal Central Valley Project and State Water Project (about 30 percent of SWP water is used for irrigation) helped deliver water to the valley. Today, San Joaquin Valley crops include grapes, tomatoes, hay, sugar beets, nuts, cotton and a multitude of other fruits and vegetables. At the same time, water used to grow these crops has led to the need for agricultural drainage.

 

Foundation Event

Land Subsidence in the San Joaquin Valley
Free Briefing to be held at Fresno State August 16

Land subsidence caused by groundwater pumping has been a problem for decades in the San Joaquin Valley, but an increased reliance on aquifers during the last decade has resulted in subsidence rates in excess of a foot per year in some parts of the region.

University Business Center
Fresno State
Fresno, CA
Aquafornia news Stockton Record

‘Sobering’: How sea level rise could swamp Stockton

A worst-case sea level rise increase of 10 feet to 12 feet by the year 2100 would utterly transform Stockton as we know it today. Climate Central, a New Jersey-based climate science nonprofit, recently published maps depicting what this unlikely, yet still “plausible,” scenario might look like. 

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

State puts Modesto on notice over waste-water discharge

A state agency has issued a notice of violation to Modesto for discharging roughly 755 million gallons of partially treated waste water in to the San Joaquin River in March because the city’s sewer system had been overwhelmed by storms and rising river water.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

For some Californians, effects of punishing drought not over

Knee-high tufts of grass dot the streets of Hardwick, a rural neighborhood with a few dozen homes hemmed in by vineyards and walnut and almond orchards in California’s agriculture-rich San Joaquin Valley.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

One key way soggy California could save water for the next rainless days

The water spread into every corner of the fields, beckoning wading ibises and egrets as it bathed long rows of sprouting grapevines. Several inches had covered the vineyard ground for a couple of months. But rather than draining it, Don Cameron was pouring more on.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Appeals Court: School district on hook for flood projects

The Manteca Unified School District must pay to fund local levee improvements, just like any other property owner in the area, an appeals court has found. One attorney says the decision is good news for the small levee districts across the Delta charged with protecting farms and cities from floods.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District loses hard-fought fallowing lawsuit

In a key ruling released Monday, a judge slammed the Oakdale Irrigation District for skirting state law in last year’s fallowing proposal. The district should have studied whether shipping river water elsewhere might harm local groundwater levels, Stanislaus Superior Court Judge Roger Beauchesne said in a decision issued nearly 11 weeks after a one-day trial in January.

Aquafornia news Fresno Bee

Melting snowpack and sinking land threaten San Joaquin Valley communities with flooding

It’s a race against time this spring as water roars out of Central California’s dams and rumbles its way to the lowest-lying areas of the western San Joaquin Valley, communities where land is collapsing and water channels are growing more unstable. State engineers are generating new maps to understand where water is stagnating in spots it once flowed freely, and to learn which communities are in the most danger of flooding.

Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

Rain, snowmelt have filled Tuolumne River with debris

Modesto and Turlock farmers are thankful that record storms have boosted to capacity Don Pedro Reservoir, which holds water needed for crops. But excessive rain and snowmelt also have washed huge amounts of debris into the Tuolumne River upstream from the reservoir.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Stunning turnaround: Once-empty San Luis Reservoir now full

Last summer it was a jarring symbol of California’s historic five-year drought. San Luis Reservoir — the vast lake along Highway 152 between Gilroy and Los Banos, the state’s fifth-largest reservoir and a key link in the water supply for millions of people and thousands of acres of Central Valley farmland — was just 10 percent full.

Aquafornia news Fresno Bee

EPA says Fresno water complies with federal lead rules

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has notified the city of Fresno that its water system continues to comply with state and federal rules over lead in the drinking water supply.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

California set to regulate carcinogen in water for decades

Carlos Arias is asked by many residents in the small town of Del Rey, California, if the water is safe to drink. He is the district manager of Del Rey’s community services district, which is tasked with providing drinking water and other services to its 2,000 residents. … Del Rey, in Fresno County, is one of dozens of communities in the San Joaquin Valley with wells that contain 1,2,3-trichloropropane.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Modesto releasing partially treated wastewater into San Joaquin River (with audio)

Modesto has started releasing wastewater that has not been disinfected into the San Joaquin River. The recent floods are to blame.

Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

Modesto begins releasing partially treated wastewater into San Joaquin River

To protect pond levees and its water treatment infrastructure, the city of Modesto began releasing partially treated wastewater into the San Joaquin River on Thursday afternoon. …  Working with the California Department of Water Resources’ dam-safety division, there was a shared concern that increased elevation in treatment ponds, combined with wind and wave action, could erode levees, he [city Utilities Director Larry Parlin] said.

Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

Modesto works to stem river water from overwhelming sewer system

Modesto appears to have bought itself some time before it may have to release partially treated wastewater that poses a public health risk into the San Joaquin River. The city’s sewer system has been overwhelmed by the recent storms and rising river water, and it is reaching its capacity to store the wastewater.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Big test still to come as San Joaquin River keeps rising

Splashes of sunshine and some modest bits of good news cast San Joaquin County’s flooding problems in a slightly more optimistic light on Tuesday.

Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

Turlock Irrigation District hopes to prolong spillway releases; Tuolumne River over flood stage

The Tuolumne River in Modesto, struck by a surge of water from the Don Pedro Reservoir’s spillway, rose above the flood stage Tuesday, though it did not result in major flooding.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

San Joaquin River levee break forces 500 out; Don Pedro spillway opens

A 20-foot breach in a San Joaquin River levee that forced an evacuation order for a large swath of rural farmland was plugged by emergency crews late Monday, a levee engineer confirmed.

Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

Don Pedro spillway opens, could nearly triple Tuolumne River flow in next few days

The spillway gates opened at Don Pedro Reservoir at 3 p.m. Monday, and over the next four or more days could nearly triple the flow of the Tuolumne River as it comes through Stanislaus County and Modesto.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Questions swirl around scope of federal probe into California water districts

A reported federal investigation that’s stalled part of a California irrigation-drainage deal does not extend to the small San Luis Water District in western Fresno and Merced counties, a top district official said Wednesday.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Endangered rabbits rescued as San Joaquin River floods

The flood on the San Joaquin River isn’t a catastrophe for humans — at least, not yet — but one of the region’s most charismatic endangered species is having a tough go of it.

Western Water Excerpt Gary Pitzer Jennifer Bowles

Preservation and Restoration: Salmon in Northern California
Winter 2017

Protecting and restoring California’s populations of threatened and endangered Chinook salmon and steelhead trout have been a big part of the state’s water management picture for more than 20 years. Significant resources have been dedicated to helping the various runs of the iconic fish, with successes and setbacks. In a landscape dramatically altered from its natural setting, finding a balance between the competing demands for water is challenging.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Tyler levee holds; San Joaquin River rises

While crews kept up emergency levee repairs on Tyler Island on Tuesday, the San Joaquin River woke up and stretched her arms, finally reaching flood stage after languishing for several years as a weed-choked, drought-diminished trickle.

Aquafornia news Fresno Bee

Could Oroville Dam crisis happen here? Unlikely, operators of San Joaquin Valley dams say

The scenario that played out at the Northern California dam is unlikely to occur at Friant Dam near Fresno, said Duane Stroup, deputy area manager for the federal Bureau of Reclamation.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

California farmers hope Congress and Trump team can deliver irrigation drain deal

The political terrain appears favorable for a mega-million-dollar irrigation drainage deal, with Congress still fully in Republican hands and California’s sprawling Westlands Water District with influential allies. But there are complications.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

After controversy, Stockton’s water safer

In the end, the much-maligned chloramines did their job. One year after the city of Stockton began treating the north side’s drinking water with the new chemical, levels of a cancer-causing byproduct have plummeted nearly 70 percent, on average, and are now well within federal standards.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

One year later, Erin Brockovich’s twin tunnels promise mostly empty

Erin Brockovich parachuted into Stockton one year ago to condemn the city’s use of a common method to treat the drinking water. But sitting on a stage before a raucous crowd of 1,200, in the heart of a region deeply opposed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed Delta tunnels, the celebrity activist won enthusiastic applause when she accepted a new challenge.

Aquafornia news Fresno Bee

Water managers try to bust California drought using ground game

As storms hit California and the Sierra Nevada snowpack keeps building after years of punishing drought, water managers on the San Joaquin Valley floor are replenishing groundwater supplies while the getting is good.

Announcement

Explore Diverse Wildlife Habitat on Central Valley Tour
See how water is managed in ecologically fragile areas

Our water tours give a behind-the-scenes look at major water issues in California. On our Central Valley Tour, March 8-10, you will visit wildlife habitat areas – some of which are closed to the public – and learn directly from the experts who manage them, in addition to seeing farms, large dams and other infrastructure.

Aquafornia news Fresno Bee

Worrying and still waiting for safe drinking water after cancer claimed her daughter

For years, Rebecca Quintana had been a highly visible activist in the fight for safe drinking water, speaking regularly with reporters, rallying residents and helping to spark an unprecedented United Nations inspection in northern Tulare County. … Across a wide, rural swath of the San Joaquin Valley, people have long been unnerved about drinking the sporadically contaminated tap water.

Aquafornia news Fresno Bee

San Joaquin Valley farmers disappointed with Trump pulling out of Trans-Pacific Partnership

Agriculture leaders expressed disappointment over President Donald Trump’s decision Monday to pull out of a 12-country trade deal that would have boosted exports from San Joaquin Valley farmers.

Announcement

Winter Rain Increases Flows on the San Joaquin River
March Central Valley water tour will analyze drought impacts

The recent deluge has led to changes in drought conditions in some areas of California and even public scrutiny of the possibility that the drought is over. Many eyes are focused on the San Joaquin Valley, one of the areas hardest hit by reduced surface water supplies. On our Central Valley Tour, March 8-10, we will visit key water delivery and storage sites in the San Joaquin Valley, including Friant Dam and Millerton Lake on the San Joaquin River.

Aquapedia background

ARkStorm

ARkStorm stands for an atmospheric river (“AR”) that carries precipitation levels expected to occur once every 1,000 years (“k”). The concept was presented in a 2011 report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) intended to elevate the visibility of the very real threats to human life, property and ecosystems posed by extreme storms on the West Coast.

Aquafornia news Fresno Bee

Clovis wins $22 million against Shell Oil over toxic drinking water

The city of Clovis won its more than three-month-long civil trial against chemical manufacturing giant Shell Oil Co. over the cleanup of a toxic chemical found in drinking-water wells around the city of 108,000 people. The chemical is 1,2,3-trichloropropane, or TCP, which is a waste product from making plastic.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

What’s ahead for West’s liberal appeals court, once Trump takes over?

A Western appellate court that awaits reshaping by President-elect Donald Trump will soon consider conflicts that include: ▪ A challenge from water districts in California’s San Joaquin Valley to a restoration plan for the Klamath River.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Westlands Water District irrigation drainage bill set for House approval

California’s politically resurgent Westlands Water District is set to win House committee approval Wednesday of a big irrigation drainage plan that’s opposed by Northern California’s Democrats.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Twin tunnels: City of Stockton warns of harm to drinking water

Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels could harm the quality of Stockton’s drinking water to the extent that water rates would need to be doubled or tripled, a city official testified on Thursday. … [Bob] Granberg’s brief testimony on Thursday came as the state board holds extensive hearings to determine if any water users with legal rights — including Stockton — would be harmed by the operation of the tunnels.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Wrong turn steers Chinook salmon into Turlock Irrigation District main canal

Wayward Chinook salmon found themselves trapped at a gate in the Turlock Irrigation District main canal east of Turlock, waiting for a ride to better breeding grounds.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Discolored water: Testing of Fresno pipes underway at Virginia Tech

A university professor in Virginia is conducting tests on pipe and water samples from Fresno in search of solutions to discoloration and lead contamination issues in tap water in northeast Fresno.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Poking holes in water plan

A plan to leave more water in streams feeding the San Joaquin River will benefit Delta water exporters while letting the government off the hook for failing to meet water quality standards, San Joaquin County water wonks said Wednesday.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Westland’s farmers major contributors to San Joaquin Valley economy, report says

Westland Water District’s farmers generated $3.6 billion in economic activity and created 29,000 jobs, according to a recent economic analysis commissioned by the district. The report, written by Pepperdine University public policy professor Michael Shires, details Westland’s contributions to the local and regional economy while also pointing out the consequences of farming without a reliable water supply.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Friant water contractors sue federal government for $350 million

Seventeen water districts in the San Joaquin Valley and the city of Fresno have filed a blockbuster claim for $350 million against the federal government for not delivering water to Friant Division contractors in the drought year of 2014.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Divided Oakdale Irrigation District board OKs $2 million water sale

On a 3-2 vote after a lengthy discussion about fears of eroding water rights, irrigation leaders agreed Monday to sell some Stanislaus River water in coming weeks.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Farmers say, ‘No apologies,’ as well drilling hits record levels in San Joaquin Valley

Drive through rural Tulare County and you’ll hear it soon enough, a roar from one of the hundreds of agricultural pumps pulling water from beneath the soil to keep the nut and fruit orchards and vast fields of corn and alfalfa lush and green under the scorching San Joaquin Valley sun.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District to consider $4 million water sale

At a special meeting Monday, irrigation leaders will consider selling more river water to buyers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a tradition that has brought in millions of dollars but also controversy to the Oakdale Irrigation District.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno wants to pay two experts to tackle its rusty-water problem

The city of Fresno wants to hire two national experts on corrosion in municipal water systems to reduce the odds that discolored-water problems now plaguing northeast Fresno will repeat themselves when a new water treatment plant opens in 2018.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Merced County flood control work initiated in World War II gets new Senate help

The United States was fighting World War II when lawmakers first wrote Merced County flood protection into law. It’s been there ever since.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Group studies new way of dealing with dairy wastewater

I [John Holland] drove out past Merced last year to see a dairy farmer testing a new idea. He irrigated 40 acres of feed corn with drip lines, which are much more common in orchards and vineyards than annual crops.

Aquapedia background

Contaminants

Contaminants exist in water supplies from both natural and manmade sources. Even those chemicals present without human intervention can be mobilized from introduction of certain pollutants from both point and nonpoint sources.  

Aquapedia background

Arsenic Contamination

Both the drought and high nitrate levels in shallow groundwater have necessitated deeper drilling of new wells in the San Joaquin Valley, only to expose water with heightened arsenic levels. Arsenic usually exists in water as arsenate or arsenite, the latter of which is more frequent in deep lake sediments or groundwater with little oxygen and is both more harmful and difficult to remove.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Fair deal or government giveaway? Farmers’ toxic drainage agreement nears completion

The federal government and farmers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley may be close to signing off on another controversial deal to clean up toxic runoff which, if left unabated, could threaten the downstream Delta.

Photo Credit: Jenn Bowles, Executive Director
Aquapedia background

Whiskeytown Lake

Whiskeytown Lake, a major reservoir in the foothills of the Klamath Mountains nine miles west of Redding, was built at the site of one of Shasta County’s first Gold Rush communities. Whiskeytown, originally called Whiskey Creek Diggings, was founded in 1849 and named in reference to a whiskey barrel rolling off a citizen’s pack mule; it may also refer to miners drinking a barrel per day. 

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

East Porterville residents, tired of drought, say end is in sight

Five years of drought have left East Porterville residents exhausted. As of Monday, 628 homes countywide have dry wells and no county-supplied water tanks. … Residents say they see the end in sight.

Tour Dan Scott

San Joaquin River Restoration Tour 2017
Field Trip

Participants of this tour snake along the San Joaquin River to learn firsthand about one of the nation’s largest and most expensive river restoration plans.

The San Joaquin River was the focus of one of the most contentious legal battles in California water history, ending in a 2006 settlement between the federal government, Friant Water Users Authority and a coalition of environmental groups.

Eventbrite - San Joaquin River Restoration Tour

Tour guests in front of Friant Dam

Central Valley Tour 2017
Field Trip (past)

We ventured through California’s Central Valley, known as the nation’s breadbasket thanks to an imported supply of surface water and local groundwater. Covering about 20,000 square miles through the heart of the state, the valley provides 25 percent of the nation’s food, including 40 percent of all fruits, nuts and vegetables consumed throughout the country.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Expert: Red water part of galvanized pipe; some lead fears overblown

One of the nation’s leading experts in corrosion problems in public water supplies said that despite considerable concern over discoloration of water coming from galvanized pipes in a growing number of northeast Fresno homes, “at present there’s really no indication at all that there’s a lead problem” in the city’s water under federal law.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

After years without water, taps are turned on in East Porterville

Tania Ramirez stepped into her family’s front yard Friday morning, leaned down toward a pipe protruding from the garden, and twisted a spigot. For the first time in three years, water came pouring out.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Wary residents hear Fresno’s update on water problems

A noted national expert in water-system engineering said Fresno still has considerable work ahead of it as it deals with persistent water problems in the northeast part of the city.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno water complaints were hidden from city officials, Mayor Ashley Swearengin says

A former Fresno water plant operator used a private email server and cell phone to hide complaints of discolored or tainted water from his bosses, city officials said Thursday. … The complaints also were not made public to the state, which is required under state law.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno enlists experts to investigate northeast water concerns

Two recognized experts in drinking water contamination and water chemistry – including the professor who led the investigation into lead contamination in Flint, Mich. – are working with the city of Fresno to find solutions to the corrosion of galvanized residential plumbing in the northeast part of the city.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Almonds lead all crops in Fresno County for gross value

Fresno County’s overall crop value fell to $6.61 billion last year from a high of $7 billion in 2014 as the region battled drought, lower commodity prices and production issues.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno advances ban on galvanized water pipes, tougher reporting rules

The city of Fresno is banning the use of galvanized pipe for plumbing in new construction and remodeling projects as signs point to the venerable material as a prime culprit in concerns over discoloration and lead contamination of water in homes across northeast Fresno.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Lee Brand wants loans, rebates to aid Fresno residents with tainted water

Fresno City Councilman Lee Brand, who is campaigning to be the city’s next mayor, is proposing two major policy initiatives after a large number of residents, almost exclusively in his northeast district, have complained about discolored and tainted water.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno places water chief on administrative leave; probes reporting discrepancies

The chief of Fresno’s water operations has been placed on administrative leave over discrepancies in the reporting of water quality issues. … The action is related to an ongoing controversy over problems with discolored water in several hundred homes in northeast Fresno and issues of lead contamination in water coming from residents’ faucets in several dozen homes.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno broadens notifications for discolored-water investigation

The pounding of a jackhammer rattled through an otherwise quiet northeast Fresno neighborhood Monday morning as plumbers dug up one resident’s water line.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno searches for answers on discoloration, lead in water

A vocal and growing number of residents in northeast Fresno are convinced water from the city’s Surface Water Treatment Facility is primarily responsible for corrosion in their pipes, causing discolored water – and in several dozen instances, lead contamination – to flow from their household faucets. 

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno expands investigation for lead, discoloration in city water

Fresno leaders will be sending direct-mail fliers this week to every water customer in the northeastern area of the city, substantially expanding the scope of an investigation into discolored water coming from faucets in hundreds of homes as well as lead contamination in about 40 homes.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Northeast Fresno water issues confound city, state investigators

Hundreds of homes in northeast Fresno have discolored water – and, in some cases, excessive levels of toxic lead – coming from their faucets. And while homeowners clamor for answers about why and what to do about it, those answers are in painfully short supply.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Residents in westside town get extra money to offset water bills

Residents of El Porvenir, threatened with water shutoff in August as their neighbors in Cantua Creek were last year, are getting financial relief from the state. … In April, the farmworker residents of the tiny western Fresno County town rejected a higher water rate over five years that amounted to about $5 a month the first year.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

80 homes burned, 1,500 threatened in ‘extremely dangerous, extremely volatile’ fire in Kern County

At least 80 homes have burned and 1,500 others are threatened by a wildfire racing across Kern County that grew to 8,000 acres in less than 24 hours and quickly became the state’s most destructive fire of the year.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

State: Dry California town soon to have running water return

The state announced plans to spend $10 million to begin connecting unincorporated East Porterville in Tulare County to the water system of neighboring Porterville. … Statewide, officials said roughly 2,000 wells have run dry during California’s most severe drought on record and stretching into its fifth year.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Stockton port seeks grant for ditch project

Stockton port officials hope to turn a storm water ditch into a native plant wetland that will help clean the runoff before it reaches the San Joaquin River.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Is drought causing a health crisis in California?

For the first time ever, a survey tool developed by the Centers for Disease Control to assess public health in disaster settings has been applied to a drought.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

San Joaquin County groundwater levels still falling

For anyone who doubts that we’re still in a drought, San Joaquin County’s groundwater “savings account” was even more depleted this spring than last, despite improved rainfall over the course of the winter.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Residents in Tulare County community open taps to clean water

Matheny Tract residents can finally open their taps to clean water. … In March, the State Water Resources Control Board ordered Tulare to merge its water system with Matheny Tract under a new law.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Court blocks Oakdale Irrigation District fallowing program

A judge reversed course and decided that the Oakdale Irrigation District must address environmental concerns before implementing a new fallowing program.

Aquapedia background

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)

A new era of groundwater management began with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which aims for local and regional agencies to develop and implement sustainable groundwater management plans with the state as the backstop.

When fully implemented, SGMA is expected to effectively administer groundwater pumping, though it remains to be seen if some of the damage done to aquifers is irreparable. Without SGMA, however, there is no hope for management.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Hope survives in East Porterville, even as wells continue to run dry

No fewer than nine government agencies and nonprofit organizations have had a hand in helping the [East Porterville] community, which drew international media attention for its exceptional suffering in the fourth year of California’s drought.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District wins first round in lawsuit over water sales, fallowed land

A judge declined Wednesday to halt the Oakdale Irrigation District’s evolving plan to idle some farmland and sell water not needed for that land. The district has not revealed – to the public or its own board of directors – how its fallowing program has changed, other than to say that previous prospective buyers no longer are involved.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Water bank project in southern San Joaquin Valley nearing approval

It’s too late for the current drought, but an ambitious water bank project in the southern San Joaquin Valley would give farmers a supplemental supply in future dry spells. 

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Strawberry crop hit hard by rain in Modesto, Merced

Strawberries tolerate some moisture from light spring rains but soakings such as that from the storms the weekend of April 9 rotted nearly all of the strawberries that were ripe for the picking.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio NPR for Central California

New state law to bring arsenic-free drinking water to Tulare County community (with audio)

Many [Central] valley residents struggle to access drinking water—some don’t have enough, while others face contamination. Now, a new law allows the state to step in and help those in need.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Water flows in Fresno, Visalia for recharge

For the first time in more than two years, water is flowing inside the Friant-Kern and Madera canals for groundwater recharge and farm irrigation.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Modesto Irrigation District critics welcome class-action lawsuit over electricity subsidy

News of a class-action lawsuit against the Modesto Irrigation District brought similar reactions from its most frequent critics, all of whom said it’s about time.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Clovis water savers soon won’t benefit from lower rates

In a move that even Clovis city officials agree is unlikely to bolster water conservation efforts, the city is changing its water rate structure so that residents using less will pay more. New rates will go into effect July 1 if the City Council approves them Monday night.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District approves water sale worth nearly $14 million

The Oakdale Irrigation District expects to reap $13.75 million selling Stanislaus River water to buyers from the Fresno area and on the Valley’s drought-scarred West Side, according to a sales agreement unanimously approved Tuesday by the OID board. 

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

San Joaquin Valley’s irrigation supplies range from near-normal to dismal

The 2016 irrigation season is rolling out on these warm April days with close-to-normal supplies in parts of the Northern San Joaquin Valley. In other parts, the drought of the past few years has not eased much, and farmers face another year of scraping by.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

New groundwater rules confusing and costly, farm water managers say

Farm water managers said new rules for managing underground supplies are confusing and potentially expensive. … The regulations are slated to go into effect June 1; the state Department of Water Resources is taking public comment about them until April 1.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

So far, so good on Stockton water quality

An initial round of testing for toxic lead in north Stockton’s drinking water has revealed levels far below federal standards and nowhere near what experts found in Flint, Michigan. … Environmental activist Erin Brockovich compared Stockton to Flint during her visit here in early February.

Aquafornia news KQED News

Feinstein, House Republicans urge Obama to rev up Delta pumps

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein wants President Obama to order an increase in water exports from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to farms and cities to the south. … A dozen Republican members of California’s House delegation sent a separate letter calling on Obama to act.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Feinstein, Republicans ask Obama for more water pumping from Sacramento Delta

Adding to the debate over Northern California’s winter stormwater, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and congressional Republicans asked President Obama on Thursday to increase the volume of water pumped through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the drought-stricken San Joaquin Valley.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Rio Mesa developer wins $25 million judgment in San Joaquin River case

A Fresno jury has awarded a Madera County development company $25 million in damages against Fidelity National Title Insurance in a civil trial over the developer’s blocked access to the San Joaquin River. 

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Don’t drink the water — Lead found in California schools

For two years, the students at Orange Center Elementary School outside of Fresno have been told not to drink the water. … This week US Senator Barbara Boxer, a Rancho Mirage Democrat, introduced a bill to add lead-contaminated drinking water to the federal government’s definition of a disaster, allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal agencies to become involved in the Flint response. 

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Pine Flat, Millerton lakes rise thanks to winter rains

Recent rains have dramatically increased the volume of water flowing into major central Sierra lakes and reservoirs that are vital to San Joaquin Valley farmers and communities. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Major California water district hit with rare federal fine

Federal regulators issued a rare fine Wednesday to the nation’s largest agricultural water district for misleading bond investors about the district’s financial circumstances.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California’s largest water district, accused of misleading investors, settles with the SEC

A sprawling Central Valley water district run by some of the state’s wealthiest growers papered over its drought-related financial struggles and misled investors, federal regulators said Wednesday.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Erin Brockovich, Stockton ‘freak out’ over water treatment

Stockton is not the first city to attract controversy for the use of chloramines, with flare-ups in Vermont, Washington and San Luis Obispo County, among other places. … Federal, state and local authorities, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all say chloramines are safe at levels used in drinking water.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Scientists link oil and gas activity to earthquakes in California (with audio)

The study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, examined an area in the southern San Joaquin Valley along the White Wolf Fault.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Outside sales keep local water rates from skyrocketing, Oakdale Irrigation District says

Only one farmer showed up Tuesday to share thoughts on the irrigation district’s controversial habit of selling river water to outside buyers, although benefits from doing so became the focus of a subsequent budget discussion.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Top doctor: Chloramines pose ‘very low risk’

San Joaquin County’s top health expert has no problem with the city of Stockton’s switch to chloramines to treat the drinking water. … His comments came one day after a town hall forum featuring environmental activist Erin Brockovich attracted more than 1,200 people to the Atherton Auditorium at San Joaquin Delta College.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

Stockton residents, Erin Brockovich voice concerns at meeting (with video)

Environmental activist Erin Brockovich is in Stockton to warn residents about adding chloramine to the water.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Stockton water forum delivers mixed messages

Local water activists Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla and Bill Jennings spoke before [Bob] Bowcock and [Erin] Brockovich. Both suggested to the audience there are more significant issues facing Stockton and the region than chloramines, most notably the proposed Twin Tunnels project in the Delta.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Water rally scheduled before Stockton City Council meeting

The recent addition of chloramines to treat Stockton’s drinking water is not on Tuesday night’s City Council meeting agenda, but a rally on the hot-button issue is scheduled nonetheless late in the afternoon outside City Hall.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

‘Stockton is not Flint’

This city [Stockton] is a long way from Flint, Michigan — in distance and in drinking water.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Stockton water now being treated with chloramines

Water treated with chloramine disinfectant is coursing through north Stockton pipes, city officials confirmed Thursday.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Most of San Joaquin Valley on state list of critically overdrafted groundwater basins

The state Department of Water Resources on Thursday released a list of 21 groundwater basins and subbasins that are overdrafted, causing land subsidence, chronically lowered groundwater levels and, in the case of the Salinas Valley, seawater intrusion.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Researchers show off groundwater recharge near Modesto

A farmer on Tuesday spread canal water across an almond orchard southwest of Modesto. He wasn’t irrigating the trees – the rain took care of that. He was recharging groundwater.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Researchers test a possible drought solution by flooding an almond farm

He’s [Nick Blom] a volunteer in an experiment run by UC Davis that could offer a partial solution to California’s perennial water shortages, and in the process, challenge some long-standing tenets of flood control and farming in the Central Valley.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Not all are affected by Stockton drinking water change

The question of who will receive water with chloramines is a bit more complicated than it sounds. That’s because Stockton is served by two drinking-water plants, in addition to groundwater wells.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Stormwater floods Modesto almond orchard in experiment to restore aquifer

In an effort to restore California’s desperately depleted ancient aquifers, scientists are testing an approach that seizes surplus winter rain and delivers it to where it’s most useful: idle farms and fields.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Activist’s involvement makes chloramines plan suddenly controversial

Over several years, the plan to put chloramines in north Stockton’s drinking water was vetted in public by the City Council and by a citizen oversight group. … But it was a Facebook post late Saturday by renowned environmental activist Erin Brockovich that turned a mostly non-controversial issue into a firestorm of public outrage.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Water-quality problem may be drought-related

Stockton’s success at saving water over the past year may be partly to blame for a violation of one federal drinking-water standard, officials say.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply, Covering the Crisis

Blog: Flooding is the future of California’s water supply

In the arid agricultural expanse of the southern San Joaquin Valley, there was once water for miles in every direction. Tulare Lake – once the largest lake west of the Mississippi River – covered 600 square miles of land near Bakersfield and provided life for waterfowl, fish and native Californians. … Now, Steve Haze wants to bring water back to the parched basin.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

How drought has hit farmworkers hard in Fresno, Tulare counties

Despite statewide increases last year in farm employment and gross production value, the drought has dealt farmworkers in some parts of the central San Joaquin Valley a big blow.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

‘Power struggle’ over local groundwater

A new law regulating groundwater use for the first time in California is decades away from being fully implemented. But already, it is clear how difficult it will be for local water providers to comply. 

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Even if El Niño delivers rain and snow, drought may never release its grip

Will the drought ever really end? … By most expert accounts, a wet El Niño winter will help, but not solve, the Valley’s water problems. Drought, it seems, is the new normal.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Off-roaders may again have access to federal land in Fresno County

In a classic Capitol Hill tradeoff, conservatives would get the Clear Creek Management Area reopened to off-roaders while liberals would secure new wilderness and wild-and-scenic river designation for other federal lands.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

San Joaquin Valley farmers now see drought as rule, not exception: ‘There is a real fear out there’

Farmers are no strangers to struggle or drought. But this four-year drought is different than others, they say. It’s more widespread, touching nearly everyone who turns on the tap or starts an irrigation pump.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District did not skirt law with outside water sale, attorney says

Irrigation leaders complied with California open-meetings law when they agreed to sell Stanislaus River water to Fresno-area buyers at a Tri-Dam meeting in Manteca, an attorney representing the Oakdale Irrigation District said in a written response to a customer’s formal complaint.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Supervisors say feds want to reach too far with water plan

The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted 4-0 to adopt a resolution supporting the repeal of the Final Rule defining Waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act.

San Joaquin River Restoration Tour 2016
Field Trip (past)

Salmon release at Camp Pashayan Participants of this tour snaked along the San Joaquin River to learn firsthand about one of the nation’s largest and most expensive river restoration plans.

The San Joaquin River was the focus of one of the most contentious legal battles in California water history, ending in a 2006 settlement between the federal government, Friant Water Users Authority and a coalition of environmental groups.

7115 N Howard St.
Fresno, CA 93720
Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Drought transforms Sacramento Valley, right in our own backyards

Acre by acre, Sacramento Valley farmland is being transformed. Pastures and row crops are giving way to more valuable orchards.

Western Water Magazine

Rewriting History: California’s Epic Drought
September/October 2015

This issue examines the impacts of California’s epic drought, especially related to water supplies for San Joaquin Valley rural communities and farmland.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Secret water sale complaints spill into Oakdale Irrigation board meeting

Irrigation leaders agreed to refund drought surcharges paid by farmers this year, an action that was overshadowed Tuesday by a dispute over a recently unveiled sale of water to outsiders.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Irrigation season ends with more in storage than expected

Some irrigation districts in the Northern San Joaquin Valley ended the season with more water than expected to carry over into 2016, but the drought still looms.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District reveals big-money water sale to outside buyers

Irrigation agencies in Oakdale and Manteca will reap $11.5 million selling Stanislaus River water to outsiders in coming weeks. Sensitive to pressure from local farmers, government officials and media, the Oakdale Irrigation District kept the deal under wraps until Tuesday’s announcement.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Lemoore gets state relief on water mandate

California water officials have issued an alternative compliance order for Lemoore, which means the city will not have to meet the state’s mandate for cutting 32 percent of its water consumption. 

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Mendota water rally calls for special legislative session

More than 300 farmers, workers and elected officials from throughout the Valley gathered Friday at Rojas Pierce Park in Mendota to urge Gov. Jerry Brown to call a special legislative session to deal with California’s water crisis.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

In East Porterville, drought escalates mental health issues

Experts say people affected by the drought also face stress, which can escalate to anxiety, depression and a host of other mental conditions. Studies show those findings are especially true for people who rely on water for economic survival, such as farmers, and people living in rural areas with fewer options for income and care.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: Westlands Water District’s drainage cleanup time may have come

Fifteen years ago, a court ordered federal officials to get rid of potentially poisonous irrigation drainage trapped below vast Westlands Water District farms – “without delay.”

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Groundwater recharge project moves ahead

The Eastside Water District board voted Thursday to ask its farmers for $6 million for a groundwater recharge project. The system would eliminate no more than 10 percent of the overdraft in the 61,000-acre district, which straddles Stanislaus and Merced counties southwest of Turlock Lake, but backers said it would be a worthwhile start.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

South Valley irrigation districts fixing leaks in drought

Drop by drop, millions of gallons of irrigation water are lost every year due to leaks from aging underground pipes in the central San Joaquin Valley.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: How a rich water district beat the federal government in a secret deal

Clout can be defined in many ways. In California’s parched Central Valley farmlands, it’s the ability to secure water. By that measure, the giant Westlands Water District has just set a whole new standard.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: California farm drainage deal faces Capitol Hill currents

A Congress that has stumbled over a California water bill amid record drought now faces a challenging new fight over irrigation drainage. … In a federal court filing Wednesday, the Justice Department provided both details and a roadmap for the irrigation drainage settlement formally agreed to by federal and Westlands officials the day before.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Irrigation district to clean water in milestone settlement

The federal government has settled a decades-old lawsuit with the nation’s largest irrigation district, which has agreed in a tentative deal to clean up contaminated water in California’s fertile Central Valley.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Madera County’s 2014 crop values hit record-high $2.2 billion

Strong market prices and increased production helped push Madera County’s 2014 crop values to a record-high $2.2 billion. … Hardest hit by the drought were field crops, including cotton, corn, oat hay and wheat.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Diving in on groundwater law

For years, an obscure team of water wonks has met each month in a conference room at the California Water Service Co. offices in downtown Stockton. Their charge: To protect the region’s precious groundwater, an invisible natural resource as little-known as those who guard it.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

A San Joaquin Valley irrigation drainage settlement is reached, but questions remain

A top Interior Department official next Tuesday will sign a San Joaquin Valley irrigation settlement with the Westlands Water District, signaling the end of a long-running legal battle, but marking the start of a hot new political fight.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

San Joaquin Valley officials lobby and learn on Capitol Hill

In an annual lobbying ritual, more than 30 officials from eight [San Joaquin] valley counties this week swarmed the hill in search of federal support for an assortment of projects and priorities. … What they got was a crash course in congressional politics, circa 2015.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

San Joaquin Valley cities slapped for cancer-causing agent in tap water

With attention focused on hot-button water-related topics – drought, groundwater, fish requirements, sinking earth, fallowed fields, domestic wells going dry – here’s one you probably haven’t lost sleep over: chromium 6.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

When the wells run dry: California neighbors cope in drought

Living with a dried-up well has turned one of life’s simplest tasks into a major chore for [Tino] Lozano, a 40-year-old disabled Army veteran and family man.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno State study says drought causes $3.3 billion in farm losses

The state’s historic drought has hit the San Joaquin Valley hard, with farm losses in the billions, an increase in health issues and a decline in income, according to a Fresno State study released Thursday.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno County sets record in 2014 crop report

Fresno County agriculture set a record in 2014, with crop values reaching $7 billion for the first time. … The county’s total value was just the third best in the state – behind Tulare and Kern counties – as the drought continued to drag down Fresno’s overall crop production.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Naraghi Lake is Modesto Irrigation District customer

Whether because of imposed restrictions such as limits on lawn watering or personal choices such as taking shorter showers, the drought has made people more water-conscious.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

In San Joaquin Valley, drought fight has landed in cities

The San Joaquin Valley now battles California’s epic drought in cities as much as its nation-leading farm fields. From Bakersfield to Modesto, people struggle to meet some of the highest state-ordered cutbacks anywhere in California.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Trout in trucks: Drought forces evacuation of San Joaquin Hatchery

Thousands of rainbow trout – about 80,000 pounds worth – got a rescue ride Wednesday from the San Joaquin Hatchery to the cooler waters of Shaver Lake.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Tulloch Lake dropping early to cool Stanislaus River fish

Fish concerns will force Tulloch Lake to drop sooner than water agencies had announced in a milestone spring accord, while construction work meant to ensure that 7,000 people won’t run out of water for drinking and fire protection has not yet begun. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Where the drought has brought Head Start to a stop

The gutted cinder-block homes slated for demolition in the western Fresno County town of Five Points are a haunting symbol of [Diana's] Toscano’s struggle during one of the worst droughts in California’s history: finding enough children to keep the local Migrant Head Start Center from shutting its doors.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Another milestone achieved for North Valley recycled water project

Officials gathered Wednesday at the Delta-Mendota Canal near Patterson to mark the latest milestone of the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District agrees – again – to give farmers more water

Despite the drought, local farmers this year will get 44 inches of water per parcel instead of 40, Oakdale irrigation leaders decided Tuesday, because customers so far have used much less than expected.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Dry wells: Homeowners in Stanislaus County can apply for temporary water supply

Working with the nonprofit Self-Help Enterprises, the drought relief program will furnish a tank and small pump to restore water for homeowners with dry wells. … The costs are covered by the $1 billion drought relief package approved by Gov. Jerry Brown in March, officials said.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Central Valley board allows wastewater disposal to continue despite contamination

The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board ignored its own staff recommendation and voted to let Valley Water Management Co. continue disposing of excess wastewater by spraying it on hillsides for another 21/2 years.

Aquafornia news NPR

California’s drought spurs unexpected effect: Eco-friendly development (with audio)

The drought in California has gone on so long, and is so severe, that it’s beginning to change the way people are designing residential communities — in unexpected ways, and unexpected places.

Aquafornia news KVPR Valley Public Radio

The ‘Almond Doctor’ says salt is slowly crippling California’s almond industry (with audio)

High salinity levels in groundwater used for agriculture on the Westside of Central California is commonplace, but this year the issue is compounded.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Water, and hope, run dry for East Porterville woman caught in drought

[Donna] Johnson is known as the water angel. … The 72-year-old is her town’s biggest advocate, sitting in on drought funding meetings with county and state leaders, shepherding reporters from around the globe so no one forgets East Porterville.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Turlock, Ceres, south Modesto take key step toward water plant

A vote Thursday secured the raw water supply for a treatment plant proposed for Turlock, Ceres and south Modesto. … The long-delayed project would reduce reliance on wells, as has happened for 20 years with a similar plant for the rest of Modesto.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

State levies $1.5 million fine for illegal water use

California regulators are seeking a $1.5 million penalty from a Tracy-area water district for allegedly illegally tapping the delta for farmers and thousands of homes, marking a significant escalation in the state’s push to get big users to go along with drought-forced reductions.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Healdsburg man uses heat to make clean water

Healdsburg’s Aaron Mandell wants to build a $30 million desalination plant in the San Joaquin Valley that would use the warmth of the sun to distill former irrigation water and reuse it on thirsty farms. … “I think everybody is trying to stretch the supplies every way they can,” said Jennifer Bowles, executive director of the nonprofit Water Education Foundation in Sacramento.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno County aims to push Temperance Flat agency

Fresno County supervisors want to lead an effort to get bond money to build Temperance Flat Dam on the San Joaquin River when funding becomes available in early 2017. … The county is being pressed into action after the splintering of the Friant Water Authority, said Supervisor Brian Pacheco.

Aquafornia news NPR

California’s driest region finds short-term drought aid (with audio)

Rural Tulare County, Calif., is now being called the epicenter of this drought.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Research project in Stanislaus County will see if winter flood irrigation refills aquifers

Some of those concerned with the groundwater debate maintain that flood irrigation of crops can be an effective way of refilling aquifers. The University of California Cooperative Extension in Stanislaus County is working on a pilot project to test the theory.

Aquafornia news CBS San Francisco

Drought conditions cause Central Valley homes to sink into the ground (with video)

Homes in a Central Valley neighborhood are the latest casualty of California’s historic drought. The parched, dry weather is causing them to literally sink into the ground.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Effects of the California drought on farming is regional and coastal farms are thriving

The disparity between the Salinas Valley and hard-hit areas of the San Joaquin Valley is the latest installment in this newspaper’s series “A State of Drought.” 

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Modesto poised to move forward on recycled-water project

Modesto is poised to take a big step Tuesday in its project to send highly treated wastewater to drought-stricken West Side farmers as soon as 2018, though the Turlock Irrigation District remains a staunch opponent over concerns of how the project will affect its groundwater basin. 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

In California’s drought, canal now flowing backward

The drought has become so severe that water is beginning to flow backward along a major artery in California’s increasingly distressed water delivery system.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Project could change face of Smith Canal

One of the city’s more tranquil Delta settings would be the scene of two years of intense construction work, and would have a decidedly different look for decades into the future if a plan to build a floodgate near the mouth of Smith Canal moves forward.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Recycled oil field wastewater is clean, Chevron test results show

Results of the most recent testing of recycled oil field wastewater that Chevron sells to Kern County farmers for irrigation showed no traces of methylene chloride, an industrial solvent that had appeared in previous testing conducted by a clean water advocacy group.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Drought trips up real estate development backed by CalPERS

It looked like the perfect real estate investment, a sparkling suburban development that would provide thousands of weary Bay Area refugees with a more affordable place to live.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Agriculture irrigation transforming farming

Madera County farmer Tom Rogers thought he knew a lot about how to irrigate his family’s 175-acre almond ranch. But several droughts, including the current four-year dry spell, made him reconsider his approach on how to get the most out of his ever-shrinking water supply.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Water woes foretold

Years before the first shovelful of earth was turned on this master-plan community near Tracy, developers and county officials knew that its sole source of water could someday be interrupted.

Aquafornia news Education Week

In drought’s firm grip, California schools try to cope

With Gov. Jerry Brown imposing new mandatory water reductions to respond to the statewide emergency, school districts are grappling with how to adhere to those requirements while continuing to meet the needs of students and communities. … Some wells serving schools are drying up.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Town’s water woes resolved

A water crisis that never quite happened was officially averted on Tuesday after a south county water district agreed to sell water to the town of Mountain House.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Editorial: All cities must put in water meters

Valley cities — from the biggest to the smallest — have no excuse for not having water meters by now. Water is no different than gasoline or electricity: Consumers should pay for precisely what they use, especially during this historic drought.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Deal keeps Mountain House water flowing

Water will continue to flow to Mountain House under a deal reached Monday, and a separate water sale pending approval Tuesday would slake the community’s thirst for the rest of the year, officials said.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Master-planned community will get water under new agreement

Mountain House, an upscale community near Tracy, learned of its precarious situation this month when the State Water Resources Control Board issued a notice ordering the [Byron Bethany Irrigation] district to “immediately stop diverting water.”

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Supreme Court sides with Fresno farmer in raisin dispute

The Supreme Court has ruled for a California raisin grower and declared it was unconstitutional for a government-backed agricultural board to claim control of about one-third of his crop.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Lawsuits challenge California’s drought plan

The lawsuit, filed in Stanislaus Superior Court, challenges the State Water Resources Control Board’s decision last week to ban diversions by 114 different rights holders in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river watersheds.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Modesto-area irrigation districts sue state over water restrictions

Modesto-area irrigation districts are suing the State Water Resources Control Board after the agency last week curtailed century-old water rights for some of them.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

As its water dwindled, Fresno cracked down hard

With water monitors like [Don] Wells on the prowl, Fresno is taking a more aggressive tack than most cities in California’s battle against the severe drought. In one month, Wells and his water conservation team handed out 347 of the 838 penalties issued by all the water districts statewide.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Drought disaster in East Porterville turns to budding health crisis

Nearly a year and a half after East Porterville’s first dry well was reported, residents and experts say not having running water and breathing increasingly dusty air is worsening their pre-existing health issues and contributing to the development of new ones.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Despite drought, some San Joaquin Valley cities still lack water meters

Thousands of homes, businesses and apartments in the drought-stricken central San Joaquin Valley lack water meters, complicating efforts by city officials to reduce consumption as mandated by the state. … By state law, all urban water hookups in California must be metered by 2025, and the drought is prompting some communities to speed up their programs.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Master-planned community at risk of losing all water within days

Unlike the vast majority of communities in California, Mountain House purchases all its water from a single rural irrigation district. And that agency was covered by the state’s order curtailing water rights for some of those who have held them for more than century due to the state’s worsening drought.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Amid drought, more water for farmers

Eastside farmers will receive more water than expected next month from already depleted New Hogan Lake, even though not everyone wants that water.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Good news on groundwater

San Joaquin County is once again eligible for millions of dollars in grants to bolster the region’s water supply, after landowners agreed to provide private well construction details to the state, officials announced Wednesday.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

More water may flow for some

The Stockton East Water District might send more water to farmers than originally expected next month, despite the fact that the reservoir on which the district relies has dwindled to 18 percent of capacity.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Late storms mean more irrigation water for some Central Valley farmers (with audio)

Late spring storms in the last couple of months have improved the irrigation prospects for some farmers in the Central Valley.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Modesto-area dairy farmer learns from San Francisco guitar-maker

The three-part series, “Acres & Avenues,” will feature three pairs of farmers and urban business people from around the nation who share ideas on sustainability, entrepreneurship and wellness.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Keeping fish on track

Yes, it will rain again someday. And when it does, and the Calaveras River once more becomes a flowing stream, officials want to give migrating fish their best possible chance at journeying to prime spawning habitat below New Hogan Dam.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Who needs an ocean? San Joaquin Valley projects give new life to salty water

A glistening spectacle on the west Fresno County prairie could be a rock star in California’s next drought. It’s a mirrored solar array longer than a football field, collecting heat to boil salt and other impurities out of irrigation drainage. … The technology is among Valley water stories that The Bee will tell this month in a weekly series.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee Earth Log

Blog: Fresno’s million-dollar water deal — What a bargain in this drought

Fresno bought nearly 3,000 acre-feet of Millerton Lake water last week for $1 million — a deal so uncommon this year that I [Mark Grossi] had to read reporter George Hostetter’s story twice.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Stanislaus groundwater lawsuit presses on despite activist’s possible suicide

This week’s death of a principal player in a high-stakes groundwater lawsuit against Stanislaus County will not affect the case, which continues to wind toward an October trial date.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno City Council buys water, passes water-conservation law

The Fresno City Council on Thursday bought some much-needed water and brought some unexpected peace to a dust-control program. … Weeks of negotiations with the Friant Water Authority and the federal Bureau of Reclamation led to a something-is-better-than-nothing scenario.

Commands