KDWD Newsletter November 28, 2023

Kern River Status Update

Currently only Kern Island Main is in operation. On Friday, December 1st the Kern Island and all of its laterals will be coming back online and will run no later than December 10th. The District is currently performing heavy maintenance through all of its systems following this past historic year.

Speaking of historic, the City of Bakersfield is currently in the process of “reallocating” and “redistributing” a portion of available Kern River supply. Taking advantage of a recent court order that was meant to establish a temporary fish flow in the lower stretch of the River, the City has unilaterally given themselves what appears to be a new diversion right ahead of the established allocation of Kern River Entitlements. Over the last thirteen days the City has reallocated 4,631 acre feet of water to themselves that would have normally gone to other River Rights holders including Kern Delta. This is above and beyond the fish flow allocation that is currently being litigated. Given the current and potential future impacts to District water supply, the District is taking every available step to challenge and fight back against these actions. For more information, please see this article written by Lois Henry and this letter that was sent to the City of Bakersfield on behalf of Kern Delta Water District.

Anyone interested in learning more about this evolving situation can contact District General Manager Steven Teglia or District General Counsel Richard Iger for more information through the District Office at (661) 834-4656.

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 2021-2022, the current period of 2022-2023, as well as other two-year periods in which the second year was significantly above average for the Kern River. The flows for this year are estimates only and subject to revision.
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 December 7
City of Bakersfield Water Resources Department
1000 Buena Vista Drive, Bakersfield CA 93311
Large Conference Room
Kern River Watershed Coalition Authority
First Thursday of the month at 1:00 PM
The next meeting will be on December 7
Rosedale-Rio Bravo WSD
849 Allen Road, Bakersfield, Ca 93314
Kern Groundwater Authority
Fourth Wednesday of the month at 8:00 AM
Next Meeting: December 27
To Be Determined