“The lands have no value without water. If the water rights fall into the hands of irrigating companies and … individual owners, … eventually the monopoly of water rights will be an intolerable burden to the people…. The question for legislators to solve is to devise some practical means by which water rights may be distributed among individual farmers and water monopolies prevented.” John Wesley Powell, Report on the Arid […]
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 farms throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Although we have plenty of water this year, when […]
Fallow Me to Water? Not Likely
For the better part of thirty years, Modesto’s Vance Kennedy has been trying to tell people we don’t have enough water. Now in his mid-nineties, Kennedy is a retired hydrologist who received the highest possible service award from the Environmental Protection Agency when he was with the United States Geological Survey. In an announcement bound to foment even more than the usual furor over water issues, the Public Policy Institute […]
Groundwater Extraction Needs Oversight Now, Says Kennedy
Dr. Vance Kennedy is a retired research hydrologist, with degrees in chemical engineering, geochemistry, and geology. There are hundreds of deep wells in the foothills east of the San Joaquin Valley, especially in Stanislaus and Merced Counties. They are depleting the general water table at an alarming rate. When that water table drops by several hundred feet, no one will be able to live there who relies on groundwater because […]
Why No Outcry Over Mining Groundwater?
Probably the most prevalent myth about groundwater is that we don’t know how much is being pumped. The seal of secrecy goes all the way to the state level with a long practice of concealing well records even from scientific inquiry. But the mystification about how much water is being pumped is nothing more than a shell game. It’s a distraction meant to confuse and silence the public. Among farmers, […]