A plan to help drought stricken farmers involves reversing the flow of water in California Aqueduct

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Kern County water officials are working on an ambitious plan to move water uphill.

The plan will use the California Aqueduct to move water 47 miles north to farms that need it.

In an effort to keep their crops alive in this record-breaking drought, a group of growers will pay up to $9 million to have water flow up the California Aqueduct.

The water will move from Tupman north to several water districts near Lost Hills and even into Kings County.

"I think this program is so unusual because we are seeing one of the largest water delivery systems in the world being reverse flowed for the second time in history… You'll see water lifted up about 10 feet at each pump station and then move in reverse flow," said Jim Beck, General Manager of the Kern County Water Agency.

Beck says it’s possible because of the flatness of the area.

“In 47 miles we see about a 20 feet elevation change so by installing two pumping plants that lift water 10 feet each at each lift station we are able to move water backwards," Beck said.

Crews hope to start testing the system in October and begin full operation in December.

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