‘We’ve now got a seat at the table’: City of Bakersfield ordered to halt excess pull of water from Kern River to protect wildlife

“A Kern County judge has granted a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit by citizen water advocacy groups, filed against the City of Bakersfield and its water usage. 

To ensure protection of fish and other river wildlife, the city is prohibited from using more water than it needs.

“The issue isn’t whether or not the city of Bakersfield is going to have enough water, it will have enough water,” said William McKinnon, a general counsel at Water Audit California, which is representing the advocates. “The issue is how the water that is flowing, going to be managed. And that really is going to be driven by negotiations, not only with the city of Bakersfield, but also with the irrigation districts. It is nobody’s intention to destroy your agricultural industry or anything else.” 

McKinnon added on the importance of coexisting with the river’s wildlife. 

“Up until now, no one has been concerned about the needs of the environment,” McKinnon said. “We’ve now got a seat at the table.”” [Read More]