KDWD Newsletter March 9, 2021

Kern River Status Update

Lake Isabella has received 3.38″ of precipitation since October 1, 2020. With the low DWR forecast (see below) Utility and State Water Project (SWP) water for the Kern Island, Buena Vista, Stine, and Farmers service areas will be prorated over the summer. Estimated amounts for Utility and SWP prorations will be released after DWR publishes their April 1 Bulletin 120 forecast.

DWR released their March 1 Bulletin 120 (B-120) forecast for the 2021 April through July runoff of the Kern River. The March 1 forecast for this year is 29% of average. This forecast is based on observed conditions and physical measurements through the end of February and assumes normal precipitation after. Every day that there isn’t precipitation will cause the forecast to go down.

The Water Association of Kern County will be hosting a webinar with David Serafini, P.E., G.E., who is the Geosciences Branch Chief for the SPD Dam Safety Production Center and is a Registered Geotechnical Engineer in the State of California. He currently serves as the Lead Engineer for the Isabella Dam Safety Modification Project. Serafini will provide a brief project review of the Isabella Dam. He will give an overview of modifications to the main dam, auxiliary dam, service spillway and new emergency spillway. He will also address the Phase ll Construction highlights and status for each feature. The webinar will be at noon on March 15. Registration information will be made available later on Water Association of Kern County’s website.

To help visualize the current state of the River, the District is providing this graph that compares flow rates for the two-year periods of 2019-2020, the current period of 2020-2021, as well as other two-year periods in which the first year was below average for the Kern River. The flows for this year are estimates only and subject to revision.

The District office remodel project is expected to be completed in March of 2021. For progress pictures of the project please refer to our website here. There is no public access to the main District office building and parking lot during construction. Customers may use Ramos Avenue for public parking and to visit the temporary office during this time. Our water delivery capabilities will not be diminished due to the project. We ask that in-person visits be kept to a minimum and encourage our customers to do as much business as possible over the phone. If customers must come to the District Office, they are asked to wear a mask.

Below is a list of upcoming meetings that may interest our growers. The information presented at these meetings may directly affect agricultural practices and costs.

Upcoming Meetings:

Kern River Groundwater Sustainability Agency
First Thursday of the month at 10:00 AM
The next meeting will be on April 1
To Be Determined
Kern River Watershed Coalition Authority
First Thursday of the month at 1:00 PM
The next meeting will be on April 1
To Be Determined
Kern Groundwater Authority
Fourth Wednesday of the month at 8:00 AM
Next Meeting: March 24
To Be Determined