Key players in water industry come to Bakersfield for second Kern County Water Summit

Discussed groundwater regulation

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The second Kern County Water Summit was held in Bakersfield on Wednesday.

The summit, held at the DoubleTree in northwest Bakersfield, focused on "the challenges faced by California water leaders, businesses, agriculture and urban leaders in a securing a safe, reliable water supply in California," according to the Water Association of Kern County.

Seminars were held discussing different topics affecting the industry, including one on climate change and one on California WaterFix, a tunnel system that would potentially transport water underneath the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta.

Perhaps the most discussed topic was the issue of groundwater regulation; California has never had state regulation of groundwater, but water agencies up and down the state have until 2020 to come up with plans that will use groundwater more efficiently.

Water representatives from Texas, Colorado and Arizona were featured on a panel during the summit. Their states require groundwater regulation, so they were brought to Wednesday's summit to give Kern County ideas on how to regulate. Tom Neisler, general manager for the Tehachapi-Cummings Water District, was also featured on the panel.

Tehachapi is a rare example of a California city that already regulates its groundwater; in fact, they've been doing it for the last 40 years.

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