California Drought is No Problem for Kern County Oil Producers

Farming accounts for the lions’ share of water use in Kern County and 88 percent of the Kern County Water Agency, according to Creel. This is not surprising when one looks at a map of the San Joaquin Valley. In spite of the valley’s desert conditions, the region has been transformed by these massive irrigation projects into a Cartesian gridwork of farms. Today, irrigated farmland and grazing pastures account for more than half of Kern County’s 8,100 square miles.

But there is another big water user in Kern County – the oil industry. In spite of the dwindling production from its aging oilfields, Kern County still accounts for 10 percent of the U.S.’s domestic oil production. While occupying a far smaller land footprint than the county’s agricultural users, the Kern County oil industry consumes a staggering volume of water. According to the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, Kern County oil companies injected 1.3 billion barrels of water and steam into the ground in order to produce 162 million barrels of oil a year.

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Water Replenishment District board members vote themselves credit cards, eliminate restrictions on international travel

LAKEWOOD – With the Bell city payroll scandal still in the news, members of a regional water district board voted to give themselves credit cards.

But the move split the board, with member Lillian Kawasaki calling the new perk approved in a 3-2 vote last week by directors of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California a step backward.

“Now more than ever we need to have greater transparency and accountability to the public by elected officials,” said Kawasaki, who voted no along with member Rob Katherman.

“The vote on international travel and credit cards are all steps backwards. We’re moving in the wrong direction. It could further erode the confidence the public has in public officials,” she said.

The district manages ground water for nearly 4 million residents in 43 cities in southern Los Angeles County.

Read more: Water Replenishment District board members vote themselves credit cards, eliminate restrictions on international travel – Whittier Daily News

Ban on sewage dumping along California coast to get federal teeth

Cruise ships and large commercial ships will be banned from dumping any kind of sewage — even highly filtered wastewater — along California’s coast out to three miles from shore, under new rules from the Obama administration.

The rules, which are scheduled to be announced Wednesday at a news conference in San Francisco, give California among the strictest laws in the nation limiting pollution from large ships.

“This is going to cover the entire California coastline,” said state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto. “Oceangoing vessels should not consider our coastline a place for dumping sewage.”

In 2005, Simitian wrote a bill that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed banning sewage discharges in state waters from cruise ships and commercial ships larger than 300 gross tons.

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