Dr. Vance Kennedy has received the Distinguished Service Award from the Environmental Protection Agency for his work with the U.S. Geological Survey. Now in his nineties, Dr. Kennedy maintains an active interest in water and land use issues in California and especially in the San Joaquin Valley. The following essay represents some of his latest thoughts on water and the drought. The immediate problem posed by the drought is to […]
Can the State Reverse Downward Trend of Groundwater Supplies?
“Why not do a mass balance?” said Vance Kennedy. “It’s unsustainable on the face of it.” Kennedy was speaking during a question and answer session with Doreen, “DeDe,” D’Adamo, a member of California’s State Water Resources Control Board. D’Adamo was in Oakdale last Wednesday to meet with members of the Stanislaus Water Coalition, a group concerned with groundwater issues in eastern Stanislaus County. Kennedy, a retired U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist, […]
Dr. Kennedy’s Groundwater Remedy
Stanislaus County Supervisors probably breathed a sigh of relief when the Modesto Bee chose not to report Dr. Vance Kennedy’s comments at their October 21 board meeting. As an award-winning hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, Kennedy accumulated a career’s worth of on-the ground experience to go along with his academic credentials. At ninety-one years of age, he remains current with research in his field, especially research involving groundwater. A […]
Water Grab in the Foothills? Yes!
Dr. Vance Kennedy is a long time champion of farmers and farmland. Along with Wood Colony’s Jake Wenger and Modesto’s Denny Jackman, Dr. Kennedy is sponsoring an urban limits initiative that would protect prime farmland around Modesto. Like many Valley citizens, Dr. Kennedy is alarmed at intensive groundwater mining in the foothills of eastern Stanislaus County. His background as an award-winning hydrologist enables him to offer authoritative analysis of the […]
Supervisors Issue Blank Check to Water Miners
Tuesday, June 10, Stanislaus County Supervisors issued a blank check to water miners. Of those present, only Supervisor Jim DeMartini seemed willing to speak candidly about the process. “This is like squirting water on the outhouse when your house is burning down,” he said. DeMartini was referring to the Stanislaus Water Advisory Committee’s (SWAC) seventeen point “action plan.” To many, the plan seems dedicated to avoiding groundwater problems rather than […]
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.” It could probably be argued that Kennedy’s work alone gave the public plenty of payback. […]
What Science Says About Wood Colony Soil
One of Vance Kennedy’s first jobs for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) was a study of “sediment transport” in streams throughout the state of Georgia. He probably got the job because of his degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and because he was the first student ever in the first course ever in the subject of Applied Geochemistry. When you study the streams and sediments of an […]
Giant Sucking Sound Threatens Stanislaus County Aquifer
No one knows where the rumor started, and so far no one’s been able to confirm it—the story around Stanislaus County is that the aquifer has started flowing uphill. Implausible as it may seem, the tale is based on growing awareness of just how many giant pumps are operating twenty-four hours a day in the eastern portion of the County. Over the last decade or so, land that once featured […]