Full text of the Kern County Superior Court’s ruling granting a preliminary injunction that prevents the City of Bakersfield from making diversions in a manner that habitually dries the Kern River.
Today, the Kern County Superior Court granted Water Audit California’s and other
joint plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction that prevents the City of Bakersfield from
making diversions in a manner that habitually dries the Kern River.
“A Kern County Superior Court judge is considering whether to issue an injunction that would prevent the city of Bakersfield from distributing water in the Kern River until the lawsuit is settled.”
“A Kern County judge heard arguments Friday in a case targeting water flows in the Kern River and whether they’re sufficient to support its fish.”
“Kern County Superior Court Judge Gregory Pulskamp came back several times during an Oct. 13 hearing to what he saw as a “major issue” in the dispute over keeping water in the Kern River – its plumbing.”
“The courtroom is where most water policy gets decided, and if we want our river to have water, then we, the average citizens of Bakersfield, have to go to court, too.”
On August 10, 2023 a coalition of community advocacy groups filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to return a living river to the City of Bakersfield. The litigation proposes a community alternative will maintain both river and irrigation flows by relocating diversions to downstream of the City.
Six environmental groups sued the city of Bakersfield, saying that continuing to allow diversions of water upstream from the city harms the environment and the community.
Water Audit California sent a letter to the Bakersfield Water Resources Department demanding the city conduct a study of how its diversions from the river are impacting the public trust and determine ways to avoid those impacts.