NEWS

Painters, poets and musicians converged on the state Water Resources Control Board Tuesday as part of an unrelenting campaign to get water in the Kern River through Bakersfield. Bring Back the Kern, a local grassroots group, has facilitated public comments from a wide variety of individuals and groups, including brewers and, now, artists, at the…
A new player has entered the fray over forfeited Kern River water rights, bolstering the position that the public has a right to a flowing river. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife argues in a legal brief filed recently that the state Water Resources Control Board is absolutely obligated to consider the public trust…
by Lois Henry
The Kern River got a lot of love this National Clean Up Day with two groups picking up trash along different sections of the river on Saturday. In Bakersfield, about 40 volunteers with Bring Back the Kern, a nonprofit group dedicated to getting water flowing on a more regular basis through town, cleared away trash under…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
One farmer has single handedly ramped up the pace of a program trying to save native salmon in the San Joaquin River by donating a key sliver of land to the federal government. Connley Clayton donated about eight acres of his Madera County riverfront land to the government’s San Joaquin River Restoration Program. The land…
by Lois Henry
It was clear during the first hearing on the Kern River Tuesday that the public has a seat at the table as never before. Tuesday’s hearing was mostly procedural — setting out which issues would be sorted first and how. Permeating the discussion at nearly every turn, however, was the public trust doctrine, which gives…
by Lois Henry
A battle of groundwater banks is underway in Kern County with accusations that one is poised to mine the local aquifer and sell water outside the area. The two main combatants are the massive Kern Water Bank, which covers 32-square miles straddling Interstate 5 west of Bakersfield, and the Buena Vista Water Storage District, which…
by Lois Henry
A new player has entered the legal fray over the Kern River — the public. Actually, it’s a consortium of Bakersfield and other nonprofit, public interest groups that hope to sway the state Water Resources Control Board to, ultimately, re-water the mostly dry Kern River through town. The Flowing Kern Coalition made its debut Tuesday…
by Lois Henry
Whether the Kern River truly has spare water and, if so, how much, has been left up in the air for more than a decade. Now, 11 years after the State Water Resources Control Board ruled the Kern  River was not fully appropriated, it will finally start the process of getting at those two key…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.