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 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…
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…
The Cross Valley Canal is a key cog in the southern San Joaquin Valley’s water machinery. It moves water east and west between the California Aqueduct along Kern County’s western edge to the Kern County Water Agency’s facilities near Manor Street in Bakersfield. Along the way, it also connects with the federally owned Friant-Kern Canal,…
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