The development of the San Joaquin Valley into the largest agricultural area in the U.S. and major population center in California is inextricably tied to the story of water in the Valley--where it is, how much there is and how it will be distributed. The Valley's water story is a fascinating and complex topic that is still evolving. This is why it's often best understood from the perspective of those who work the land and design water systems, make water policies and settled disputes, brokered water deals and managed the various water districts as well as those who fought for environmental protections.
List of interviews:
Alvin Quist: A retired farmer talking about the growing trouble he had in his career securing water for his crops and the impact this had on his growing operation.
Brent Graham: Worked for the Kings River Conservation District and Tulare Basin Storage District. Talked about developing early infrastructure and flooding. Talked about working with Sayers and Boswell farming corporations.
Cal Dooley: Former member of Congress for Fresno and Tulare counties. Talked about dealing with California water issues in the Congress, as well as giving opinions about current stalemates over water legislation in Washington.
Chris Kapheim and Doug Jensen: Chris Kapheim is general manager of the Alta Irrigation District, the oldest irrigation district on the Kings River and one of the oldest districts in California. Doug Jensen is a founding partner of Baker, Manock, and Jensen and long time counsel to the Alta Irrigation District.
Claude Laval III: President of the Laval Corporation. Talked about growth and change in the field of water technology, and how technology developed here in the Valley has been used all over the world.
Coke Hallowell: About the challenges of establishing the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust, as well as the San Joaquin River Restoration agreement.
Dale Melville: Civil engineer working in water, developing many of the municipal water systems around the Valley and in the high desert. A specialist in waste water.
Dan Dooley: Attorney representing several east-side irrigation districts during the negotiations over the San Joaquin River Settlement and the Central Valley Project Improvement Act.
Dan Nelson: Former executive director of the Delta Mendota San Luis Joint Powers Authority operating the Delta Mendota Canal and the San Luis Reservoir. Talked a lot about changes in water allocations from the Central Valley Project for westside farmers.
Dave Orth: Former general manager of the Westlands Water District and former general manager of the Kings River Conservation District.
Dennis Falaschi: General manager of the Panoche Water District on the west-side of the Valley, talking about how water districts work and how they cope with drainage issues on the west side.
Diane Rathmann: Water lawyer from Dos Palos who was instrumental in creating the Delta Mendota San Luis Joint Powers Authority to operate the Delta Mendota Canal and the CVP Delta pumps in place of the federal government.
Dick Moss: A long time consultant specializing in water management strategies for irrigation districts in the south Valley.
Earnest Conant: Bakersfield water lawyer with a long history of working on water rights on the Kern River and working with south Valley water districts.
Elizabeth Hudson: Former public relations manager for Westlands Water District. Talked about dealing with the 160-acre limitation and the Kesterson wildlife refuge disaster.