Bakersfield loses water case, gets $1.64 million pay day
In the ever-twisting world of water, the City of Bakersfield lost a case to North Kern Water Storage District but ended up with a $1.64 million payout.
Years ago, when Bakersfield bought rights to the Kern River from Tenneco West, it paid for the purchase through bonds.
It repaid those bonds by entering a long-term contract to sell some of its river water to North Kern and two other water districts at $20 per acre foot.
The contract was up in 2012 and the city alerted the water districts it would no longer be selling them water.
North Kern sued under an extension term in the contract that said the city would still sell water to North Kern unless the city could show that it had a need and a “project to divert” that water for use on city-owned property. And that all other water available to the city was already in use.