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Will Water Districts Fail to Deliver on Historic Contract?

Earlier this year, Louis Brichetto was having breakfast with a local cattleman who mentioned having seen the Brichetto name on a historical water contract he had been reviewing along with some of his own old contracts. The casual remark got Brichetto’s immediate attention. Brichetto’s roots in Stanislaus County’s Oakdale region go back well over 150 […]

Trinitas Bankruptcy: We should have Listened

Trinitas Partners recent declaration of bankruptcy is likely just the beginning of widespread economic devastation throughout the San Joaquin Valley. No one saw it coming more clearly than the pseudonymous author of On the Public Record (OtPR), who wrote nine years ago, “This economic model, in which powerful outsiders come in, displace the natives and destroy local natural […]

Water: “We farm, you pay.” Subsidence and Socialism in the Valley

Among the more persistent mythologies of the American west, few are as enduring and erroneous as those about water, especially here in the San Joaquin Valley. The one consistent element in all of them is that no matter what’s wrong, “It’s all government’s fault.” So it is that when California became the last state in […]

Will the Valley Run Out of Fresh Water?

With record rain and snowfall in the winter of 2018-2019, many people are no longer worried about the water supply. The drought is over for now and reserves are growing in lakes and reservoirs. Nevertheless, recent concerns about water are no less relevant today than they were before our winter rains. Ron Myers monitors wells for […]

Contamination of Valley Groundwater a Hidden Threat

The City of Modesto has a large plume of toxic chemicals below ground. As time goes by, the plume is spreading via groundwater migration. Multiple sources of contamination are making wells around the community unusable. Though serious, groundwater depletion is only one of our problems. Every year, more wells are taken out of service. In […]

Jim DeMartini: The Supervisor on Water, Land Use, and More

Stanislaus County Supervisor Jim DeMartini farms 1200 acres of prime farmland near the city of Patterson. Much of his land is bordered by the Tuolumne River. Supervisor DeMartini led the way to formation of Stanislaus County’s pioneering agricultural element, which features mitigation for loss of farmland. He has also worked with the Audubon Society to […]

Groundwater: When Regulation Fails, Part II

Though California has finally joined every other state in regulating groundwater usage, we shouldn’t believe regulation will necessarily promote groundwater sustainability. If regulation were the answer, the great Ogallala Aquifer wouldn’t be facing total depletion. If regulation were the answer, the Colorado River Basin wouldn’t have lost over 41 million acre feet of groundwater over […]

Award-Winning Scientist: Our Water Policy is “Insanity”

Once when he was asked why he’s so involved in public issues, Vance Kennedy replied, “It’s my way of paying back for the opportunities I was given in public service. When I was with the [U.S. Geological] Survey (USGS), I got to do a lot of research, and I’ve always been thankful for the opportunity.” […]