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California Supreme Court Refuses to Review Farmer Michael Abatti’s Case Against IID

The tumultuous, years-long legal fight between farmer Michael Abatti and the Imperial Irrigation District — two of Southern California’s powerbrokers — is now finished.

On Wednesday, the California Supreme Court declined Abatti’s petition for review, leaving in place an appellate court’s decision that declared IID the rightful owner of a massive allotment of Colorado River water.

A 20-Year Push for Valley Water Storage Ends, as Temperance Flat Calls It Quits

The proposed Temperance Flat Reservoir Project has likely seen its final blow after decades of hard-fought efforts.

Opinion: An Agreement to Sell Water is Not About Selling Water?

One of Belgian surrealist painter Rene Magritte’s most famous paintings depicts a tobacco pipe with cursive script below it reading, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe,” which translated from French means, “This is not a pipe.”

Oilfield Wastewater Slowly Gains Value in Agriculture

Conceptually it makes a lot of sense to farmers and oil producers alike: Use the latest filtration technology to turn one of Kern’s most troublesome waste streams — oilfield produced water — into a safe irrigation source.

For decades it’s been done on a relatively small scale near Bakersfield, and recent studies confirm it doesn’t threaten crop safety. So why aren’t more local oil producers giving farmers the briny water that comes up from the ground along with oil?

California’s Landmark Groundwater Law Falls Short, Advocates Say

In the midst of the last drought, California took its first step to regulate how the state uses groundwater. But advocates worry the new rules have favored big agricultural users over small communities, particularly in areas like the San Joaquin Valley.

CWA Provides PSAWR Eligibility Guidelines

The San Diego County Water Authority approved a permanent Special Agricultural Water Rate program late last year but did not include any criteria. On Sept. 24, the SDCWA approved an ordinance adopting the program and setting eligibility criteria.

Governor Newsom’s Executive Order Aims to Conserve Land, Biodiversity, California Farm Bureau Federation Reports

A new California Biodiversity Collaborative will help determine how to carry out an executive order from Gov. Gavin Newsom aimed at conserving 30% of California’s land and marine areas by 2030—and agricultural organizations said they would participate to assure the collaborative recognizes stewardship efforts carried out on the state’s farms and ranches.

Scientists Say They Can Predict Colorado River’s Annual Water Supply. What Does That Mean for Agriculture, Wildfires?

Scientists can now predict drought and overall water supply on the Colorado River years in advance, according to a new study published by researchers at Utah State University.

The team of scientists believe long-term “ocean memory,” in conjunction with atmospheric effects and the influence of land systems, correlates with cycles of drought in parts of the western U.S., which then leads to water shortages on the Colorado River.

New Federal Report Show Increasing Groundwater Levels in the Coachella Valley

A new report by the U.S. Geological Survey shows that efforts by Coachella Valley Water District to replenish local aquifers in the Coachella Valley have been effective, leading to stable land surface elevations in most of the Coachella Valley. Areas with land subsidence identified in prior studies are now stable, uplifting, or experiencing substantial slowing of subsidence. CVWD partners with Coachella Water Authority, Desert Water Agency, Indio Water Authority, and Mission Springs Water District to manage groundwater in the Coachella Valley.

Newsom’s Conservation Order Raises More Skepticism for Farmers and Ranchers

The order raises more questions about the administration’s agenda when it comes to pesticides and freshwater flows for threatened fish species.