Kern River water is at the center of another legal battle

 •  by Lois Henry
Local paddle boarders enjoy a full Kern River in Bakersfield west of Allen Road in April 2019. Credit: Lois Henry

The relative lull in lawsuits over Kern River water was broken Dec. 11 when Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District filed a complaint against the City of Bakersfield.

Rosedale’s complaint, filed in Kern County Superior Court, demands that the city keep selling a portion of river water to the district under a layer cake of agreements going back more than 40 years.

The city’s interpretation of those agreements, of course, differs from Rosedale’s.

But the reason for the fight can be summed up in a single acronym — SGMA. That’s the state’s new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which requires water entities bring overdrafted subbasins into balance by 2040.

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Lois Henry

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