Topic: San Joaquin Valley


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.


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.

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)

A new era of groundwater management began in 2014 with the passage of 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.

SGMA defines “sustainable groundwater management” as the “management and use of groundwater in a manner that can be maintained during the planning and implementation horizon without causing undesirable results.”

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 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 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.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno’s dilemma: Save water or pollute the air?

The [Fresno] council on Thursday will consider an emergency water-conservation law that, among other things, would give City Hall authority to suspend its hydrant-meter program.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Town fights turning on long-installed water meters

Morada, located northeast of Stockton, is one of three small towns in the county where water meters have been installed that aren’t being used because of Proposition 218. The other two, Acampo and Fairway Estates, surround Lodi.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Modesto’s water cops now out looking for waste

Modesto is stepping up its enforcement of its drought restrictions by sending water cops out in the early morning to check for homeowners, businesses and others watering their lawns and other landscaping when they shouldn’t or wasting water because of malfunctioning sprinklers.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Way of life withers in California’s parched citrus belt

People don’t easily forget the moment the water dies. … In this corner of the scorched Tulare Lake Basin, where lives and livelihoods depend on water that comes from the ground, a human crisis is accelerating amid California’s unrelenting drought.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

State chips in millions for Smith Canal gate

Country Club residents are one step closer to shedding a high-risk flood zone designation, after state officials agreed this week to contribute $22 million toward the construction of a gate near the mouth of Smith Canal.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: Dead orchards may go up in smoke

The San Joaquin Valley’s tainted air might be getting an extra dose of soot and ozone-forming gases this spring as growers wrestle with the woody waste from dead citrus orchards. … It’s more drought expense and woe in this broad farm belt where thousands of growers for the second straight year have lost river irrigation water for an area six times the footprint of Los Angeles.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Fast growing water hyacinth chokes Central Valley waterways (with audio)

The Tuolumne River near Empire in Stanislaus County had a swath of hyacinth 300 yards long and 40 yards wide atop the water that cut off any boating.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Flood plan comes at a cost

The plan by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers calls for improving 23 miles of levees, from Mosher Slough in the north to French Camp Slough in the south. This is intended to protect much of Stockton from catastrophic floods worsened by climate change.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Green waste: Another drought casualty

“Less watering — less growth,” Public Utilities Director Thomas Esqueda says. The result could be a blow to City Hall’s efforts to meet state guidelines for solid-waste recycling and landfill deliveries. 

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno County supervisors want to cut water for fish

Fresno County supervisors renewed their commitment to getting more water for the Valley by approving a more strongly worded drought resolution they expect other Valley counties will support. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Central Valley’s growing concern: the mix of oil, water and crops

Here in California’s thirsty farm belt, where pumpjacks nod amid neat rows of crops, it’s a proposition that seems to make sense: using treated oil field wastewater to irrigate crops.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Worms help with waste at dairy farm near Hilmar

The farm is taking part in a research project using worms to consume nitrogen in manure-tainted water that irrigates its feed crops. The goal, in part, is to reduce the risk of pollution. But the process also has a byproduct – an especially rich fertilizer that can be sold to home gardeners and other users.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Officials: Stockton water safe to drink despite water-quality violation

Chalk it up as yet another consequence of the drought. The Stockton East Water District, which sells drinking water to Stockton, experienced a rare water-quality violation at its treatment plant east of town.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Farmers claim bait and switch in OID-Trinitas petition

A petition asks irrigation leaders to reverse a decision benefiting a corporate nut grower at small farmers’ expense. 

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Panel amends bill on San Joaquin Valley river flows

Modesto-area farmers and their allies did not get the vote they wanted Monday on a bill involving river flows, but their cause is still alive.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Commentary: Almond joy? Not out on Horseshoe Road

From their homes along Horseshoe Road east of Oakdale, residents can’t help but notice the prominent mast of a well-drilling rig atop the hill to the west. … Like so many other wells in the area, it will pump water from deep in the ground to feed orchards.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Drought shakeup continues as Friant Water Authority general manager steps down

In the wake of zero water allocations again this year, Ronald D. Jacobsma has stepped down as general manager of the Friant Water Authority, representing 13 water districts on the San Joaquin Valley’s east side. Jacobsma’s separation from the authority follows the departure of eight water districts over differences with the board of directors. 

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District farmers to pay more for less water

Farmers enjoying cheap water prices will pay more money for less water this year, the Oakdale Irrigation District board decided Tuesday. For the first time in 105 years, OID will restrict water amounts, and as they did last year, farmers will pay a $6.10-per-acre drought surcharge. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

With his well nearly dry, a farmer draws on his resolve

The 32-year-old farmer in the barber’s chair said his well wouldn’t make it to summer. … It was late afternoon at the tail end of what should have been the rainy season in the fourth year of the California drought.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

San Joaquin Valley cities could see steep residential water cuts under state plan

Gov. Jerry Brown may have ordered a 25% cut in water use statewide due to the ongoing drought, but a host of [San Joaquin] Valley cities could have to do even more. 

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District outlook remains murky

Farmers showing up Tuesday morning to say their piece about irrigation leaders’ watering plan this year won’t have much to go on. 

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: San Joaquin Valley cities in the bull’s eye for water cutback rule

Look closely at the first-ever order for mandatory water cutbacks in California. Just beyond the nine paragraphs that start with “where as,” you find something San Joaquin Valley residents should notice about the 25% reduction in water use.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Drought 2015: Brave words won’t be enough

Welcome, central San Joaquin Valley residents, to new rules for surviving Drought 2015. Local cities are hustling to figure out how they’ll comply with Gov. Jerry Brown’s recent executive order listing 31 drought-fighting mandates.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Why almond growers aren’t the water enemy

Article after article in newspapers, magazines and online put nut growers in a bad light related to the drought. … I planted my almonds based on a contract with the federal government to deliver surface water from Northern California. 

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Deal on Stanislaus River fish could aid Lake Tulloch

A tentative agreement on Stanislaus River flows could shore up irrigation supplies and keep Lake Tulloch from emptying this summer. 

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Gov. Brown’s $1 billion plan ‘a start,’ but more needed for drought-related expenses

Fresno County Board of Supervisors declared a drought emergency Tuesday so it can obtain state and federal government reimbursement for local drought emergency costs. … The board also supported water restrictions in five unincorporated areas with about 400 customers.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Busy Modesto Irrigation District agenda includes water rate hike

Modesto-area farmers on Tuesday should learn how much water prices will go up and whether they’ll be able to buy or sell water shares to help cope with the drought.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: He’s not drilling a new well — why gamble with $30,000?

As the drought deepens, I’m [Mark Grossi] hearing from more people who are forced to go without indoor plumbing because they do not have $20,000 or $30,000 to replace their dried-up wells.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District water-table issue resurfaces

Irrigation leaders were pleased to learn in a recent meeting that groundwater levels in the Oakdale Irrigation District’s wells have dropped less than 4 1/2 inches in the past year, on average, despite record pumping. But those numbers were based on data from only three-fourths of OID’s deep wells, a Modesto Bee analysis found.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Manteca considers selling treated wastewater for farm irrigation (with audio)

A Manteca group called Neighbors United is urging the city council to sell treated wastewater to local farmers as water sources dry up in the drought.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

New study, old data in Stanislaus County effort to manage groundwater

A long-awaited tool created to help manage groundwater was unveiled Wednesday to the Stanislaus County Water Advisory Committee, whose members listened politely but seemed less than thrilled.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

New water rules on tap

With the drought apparently intensifying, state officials agreed Tuesday to strengthen emergency water conservation rules — including a rule that will be new for most Stockton residents.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Editorial: Preserve our resources without destroying our region

News flash: The state doesn’t want to ruin the Valley’s economy. News flash: Farmers don’t want to see our rivers die or salmon vanish. Why is it necessary to make such obvious statements?

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Overpumping of Central Valley groundwater creating a crisis, experts say

Parts of the San Joaquin Valley are deflating like a tire with a slow leak as growers pull more and more water from the ground. The land subsidence is cracking irrigation canals, buckling roads and permanently depleting storage space in the vast aquifer that underlies California’s heartland.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District weighs historic water cap

Because of prolonged drought, irrigation leaders on Tuesday morning will consider capping the amount of water delivered this year to farms around Oakdale and east of Riverbank.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Commentary: So many needs, so many weeds, too little water

A 300-yard stretch of the Tuolumne River near Hughson shows one of the many impacts of the ongoing drought. The river is thick with water hyacinth, a plant that chokes the flow to the point where it looks like you could walk across it.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Supreme Court arguments set in challenge to raisin-price regulation

Supreme Court justices will unpack many different arguments when they consider a surprisingly big California raisin case. With briefs filed in recent days, parties ranging from the state of Texas and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to a bunch of independent raisin growers from California’s San Joaquin Valley have challenged a decades-old system for managing raisin supplies.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Property rights debate bogs down Modesto Irrigation District

Unusually warm temperatures the past few days have made the four-year drought worse for crops, so Modesto Irrigation District leaders said Tuesday they’re inclined to start farmers’ water season April 12 instead of two weeks later.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

South San Joaquin Irrigation District caps water deliveries for first time

For the first time ever, drought has forced the South San Joaquin Irrigation District to cap water deliveries.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Feds propose levee plan to protect Stockton

The federal government has released a long-awaited $800 million plan to protect Stockton from future floods, but the plan is not as ambitious as local officials would have liked.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Modesto Irrigation District growers could have to get by on 16 inches of water

The drought could limit irrigation for Modesto-area farmers to 16 inches of water per acre this year – a little more than a third the normal amount and far less than needed for most crops.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: Well went dry last Easter, but one Kingsburg man gets blessed with new water supply

[Abelardo De Leon] Garcia, 81, had lost his water well on Easter Sunday last year. Nearly a year later, his water supply has been resurrected, thanks to federal funding and a Visalia-based nonprofit called Self-Help Enterprises.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Taps may run dry in western Fresno County town after residents vote to oppose rate hike

Residents of this tiny western Fresno County town recently told Fresno County supervisors that they don’t want to pay higher bills for water service to their tiny community — even if it means having their water shut off. If they don’t agree to pay more, Cantua Creek residents will stop getting water as early as mid-May. 

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Some get water, many won’t — what’s wrong with this?

How does the south San Joaquin Valley get some water in back-to-back drought years while the east side goes without? And, by the way, vast tracts of farmland on the Valley’s west side also will be shut out.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno to apply for $165 million in state loans for big water project

Fresno City Hall and its big water project are returning to their favorite lender — the state of California.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Merced supervisors approve first steps of groundwater ordinance

Merced County’s proposed groundwater ordinance is one step closer to becoming law. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California orders 12 oil-field wells shut to protect groundwater

California officials, responding to concerns about groundwater contamination, are closing 12 wells in the Central Valley used to dispose of chemical-laden water from oil and gas production, regulators announced Tuesday.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno council votes 6-1 to approve $429 million water project

The Fresno City Council approved Mayor Ashley Swearengin’s historic water project Thursday night, assuring a secure supply of the liquid gold well into the 21st century. The 6-1 vote was actually for a five-year rate plan.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Hundreds of illicit oil wastewater pits found in Kern County

Water officials in Kern County discovered that oil producers have been dumping chemical-laden wastewater into hundreds of unlined pits that are operating without proper permits. … The pits — long, shallow troughs gouged out of dirt — hold water that is produced from fracking and other oil drilling operations.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District water exports up in the air

Drought and a legal threat have combined to stall the Oakdale Irrigation District’s controversial idea of selling water to out-of-county buyers.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

State officials send warnings on eve of Fresno’s big water vote

Top officials with the State Water Resources Control Board and the state Department of Water Resources took different approaches to emphasize that public health and safety will be the key issue when the [Fresno] City Council on Thursday evening debates the mayor’s plan.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Commentary: Fresno water plan is a boondoggle

The City of Fresno says if it builds the proposed southeast water-treatment plant, the water will come. 

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Turlock Irrigation District board will talk about two water projects

The board of the Turlock Irrigation District will talk in closed session Tuesday about two major water projects in the offing. 

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno water-rate battle heads to a key vote

The Fresno City Council is slated Thursday to vote on higher water rates.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

State promises $195 million loan for Fresno water project

Fresno’s ambitious water project has qualified for a state loan big enough to make a sizable dent in the typical home’s monthly bill.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Drought could spur draining of Tulloch Lake

If winter weather doesn’t return soon with a vengeance, Tulloch Lake – a popular fishing and boating spot between Oakdale and Jamestown, and one of California’s few reservoirs lined with thousands of homes – might look more like a puddle by July.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: February is flowering like spring — just don’t turn on your sprinklers

Indulge me. I [Mark Grossi] want to persuade you to hold off on landscape watering in this dry time even though your lawn is turning green.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

An encore of San Joaquin Valley drought crisis — only worse

The next train wreck in California’s drought is headed for the San Joaquin Valley this week when federal leaders forecast how much river water farmers can expect to irrigate nearly 3 million acres this summer.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Cemex gravel mine neighbors struggle with dry wells

Cemex, an international cement and gravel company, had suspended mining at its Stillwell site and stopped pumping water into a seepage ditch that recharges groundwater for an adjacent area that includes four homes. 

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District considers water exports, filling board vacancy

The [Oakdale] irrigation board on Tuesday could begin approving deals with farmers willing to idle their land and sell the water that would have been used there.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Recycled water project adds to Fresno water-rate debate

Fresno is turning its sewer farm into a drought-buster. City Hall has started building the first phase of an advanced treatment plant that will deliver millions of gallons of water every day for non-drinking uses, such as irrigation of green space.


The 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
A Handbook to Understanding and Implementing the Law

This handbook provides crucial background information on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, signed into law in 2014 by Gov. Jerry Brown. The handbook also includes a section on options for new governance.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: San Joaquin County’s underground supply sinks toward 1992 low point

An invisible “savings account” beneath our feet just keeps shrinking, with groundwater dropping to levels not seen since the end of the last major drought.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

MID drought strategy pondered

Modesto Irrigation District leaders Tuesday morning could revive last year’s drought-combating measures, which enjoyed only marginal success, for the coming season. … The MID board Tuesday morning also will continue discussing a historical inequity in rates that has electricity customers subsidizing farmers’ water prices.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Farmersville lets drought-stricken neighbors hook up to city water

Farmersville is coming to the rescue of its drought-stricken neighbor by allowing residents of Cameron Creek Colony rural subdivision to hook up to the city’s water system.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin hopes subsidy program brings her water plan home

Mayor Ashley Swearengin has on tap a $1 million program to help low-income Fresnans pay their water bills. Whether that is enough to turn her proposed upgrade to Fresno’s water system into reality figures to be City Hall’s hottest political question this month.

Aquafornia news The Merced Sun-Star

Groundwater woes wear on Merced County farmers

The record drought has turned water into a commodity that some will pay any price for.