Drought, groundwater restrictions and – oh yeah, drought – pervade talk at annual Kern water summit

May 19, 2022
by Lois Henry
State Water Resources Control Board Chair Joaquin Esquivel speaks at the 2022 Kern Water Summit. CREDIT: Lois Henry
Lois Henry

Water summit

The floor of the Mechanics Bank Theatre was full as attendees listened to speakers at the annual Kern Water Summit. CREDIT: Lois Henry

 

Ernest Conant, Regional Director of the Bureau of Reclamation California Great Basin region, gestures to the crowd at the 2022 Water Summit in Kern. CREDIT: Lois Henry

 

State Water Resources Chair Joaquin Esquivel speaks at the annual Kern Water Summit. CREDIT: Lois Henry

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Local and state water leaders were practically upbeat two years ago at the last in-person Water Summit put on by the Water Association of Kern County. At least as upbeat as California water folks typically get.

They advocated for new ideas, radical partnerships and solutions that could benefit both ag and environmental interests.

That was then.

Facing a third year of punishing drought and the bleak realities of new groundwater restrictions, the vibe at this

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