After the record breaking rainfall this past winter, Kern County residents are wondering where is all this much needed water going? 23ABC’s Adam Bowles went on a water journey today to find out.
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This morning, the Water Association of Kern County took a tour.
First stop is the Kern river right next to Hart Park. This is the first point of measurement on the river outflow.
“This is a spot most people don’t normally see," Beth Pandol says. "We're starting here at the first point of measurement on the Kern River. This is where they measure the flows of the river.”
The city of Bakersfield has to find out the flow of the river which is flowing over 5000 cubic cfs.
Downstream is the second stop which is called the four weirs. This place is a combination of several canals that changes the elevation of the water before it sends it on a weaving pattern throughout Bakersfield.
Downstream heading through Taft is the switching yard. This squeezes all of the water into the banking system that channels to one final destination. This next place will put a dent in drought concerns heading into a potential dry summer.
“One of the destinations for where these canals are sending water is called the Kern Water Bank which is the largest water banking facility in the world," Harry Starkey says. "Sometimes as much of a quarter or more of the water that we're using is groundwater. So, when you pull it back out with the well you essentially have a potable supply.”
The last stop is the Kern Water Bank. The water bank right holds all of the water that is used for ground water usage for our county, and an interesting fact, 60% of that ground water is used for daily life right here in Bakersfield.