BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Kern County is known for its exports like agriculture but it's not known for getting a lot of rain. 23ABC spoke to Rep. Kevin McCarthy about how he's working to make sure farmers have enough water as drought conditions worsen in the state.
"Well, this drought is devastating. We haven't seen something like this in decades, and really what you do during a drought is that you had to prepare for this prior to the drought. Many times we've worked for more water storage but Democrats, unfortunately, have stopped many of our bills that would let us store more water and build more dams, more underground storage to prepare for the time when the drought comes."
Years ago some officials wanted to build more dams in the Central Valley for storing water in the instance of a severe drought. Those efforts didn't pan out in order to divert more water away from farms to help protect an endangered fish, the Delta Smelt. The Delta Smelt has been at the center of California's water war for decades but are nearly extinct now.
Back in 2018 then-President Donald Trump directed agencies in the Golden State to reverse those long-held environmental standards to help bring more water to farmers in the Central Valley.