Private water sales: They’re not happy in Hanford, either

Last week the Hanford Sentinel reported that the Kings County grand jury has criticized the board of supervisors and the Kings County Water Commission for not doing more to stop the sale of water out of the county. Click here for article

Last year, Sandridge Partners, a Bay Area firm with substantial farm holdings in Kings County, sold $73 million in water (several times the normal cost) to the Mojave Water Agency in San Bernardino County. Later, a second water transfer from the same Dudley Ridge Water District near Kettleman City, sent $14.3 million in land and accompanying water rights to the Irvine Ranch Water District.

Meanwhile, the nearby Westside region is overpumping groundwater. And in Kern County, where the Kern Water Bank is supposed to be storing “excess” taxpayer subsidized water, neighboring landowners are watching their groundwater levels plunge.

Kings County officials note that even when they comment, comments and protests don’t change anything, because the sales are perfectly legal.

Sounds like we need to change the law.

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