Kern River | Photo by Pete Wollesen
Kern River | Photo by Pete Wollesen

#7 Lower Kern River, CA

Threat: Excessive Water Withdrawals

It is possible to restore the Lower Kern River, but it will not happen without a new approach to water management on the river.

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Kern River | Photo courtesy of Bring Back the Kern

The Kern River flows from the mountains of Central California to the San Joaquin Valley and the city of Bakersfield, where excessive water diversions for agriculture dry up the river. Instead of a having access to the Kern’s beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities, the residents of Bakersfield are left with a dusty, lifeless riverbed, and several species of the river’s plants and animals are threatened or endangered due to the loss of riparian habitat. This year, the California State Water Resources Control Board has an opportunity to bring the river back to life by compelling water districts to adhere to minimum flow requirements, thereby putting water back in the river to support local communities, fish and wildlife.

American Rivers appreciates the collaboration and efforts of our partners:

  • Bring Back the Kern
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