NEWS

by Lois Henry
Southern San Joaquin Valley Rivers are running at near historic lows — again. In fact, the Bakersfield City Council passed a resolution Wednesday officially declaring the Kern River as running at only 17% of normal, it’s second driest year since record keeping began in 1893. The driest year on record was 2015, the worst year…
by Lois Henry
The grassroots group Bring Back the Kern has launched a new public awareness campaign to pluck residents’ memories of a flowing river through Bakersfield. Bring Back the Kern, formed in 2020, advocates finding ways for water to flow through the Kern River channel through town on a more frequent and consistent basis. The group has…
Editor’s note: This story is part of a collaboration — Tapped Out: Power, justice and water in the West — that includes the Institute for Nonprofit News, California Health Report, Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism, Circle of Blue, Columbia Insight, Ensia, High Country News, New Mexico In Depth and SJV Water. It was made possible by a…
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
Bakersfield raised a brew, literally, to the State Water Resources Control Board on Friday in honor of the Kern River. An iced down package of seven locally made craft beers was delivered to board members as part of the latest outreach effort by Bring Back the Kern, a local group advocating for water to flow…
The successful Bakersfield children’s book series “Indy, Oh Indy” has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its sixth upcoming book, titled “The Mighty Kern River.” The book was inspired by a larger effort from the grassroots group Bring Back the Kern to raise awareness about Bakersfield’s mostly dry river and efforts to revive a more…
by Lois Henry
Dana Munn, a fixture in the Kern County water world, has taken an early retirement from Shafter-Wasco Irrigation District due to medical issues, he announced Tuesday. Though his retirement date hasn’t been set, it is considered imminent, according to the irrigation district. The district is hoping to find a retired water manager to take over…
by Lois Henry
Is there water available on the Kern River and, if so, how much? Parties to the long-running river dispute will finally get a hearing by the State Water Resources Control Board on those questions, at least. The big question — who should get the water? — will have to wait. Still, this is the first…
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Maven’s Notebook is an excellent daily accounting of California water happenings statewide.