Water Resources Department oversees the divisions of Agricultural
Water and Domestic Water. The Department delivers and conserves
water for the benefit of all current and future citizens
of Bakersfield. We provide for the regulation, distribution,
water banking and record keeping operations on the Kern
River. The Department is also involved with local flood
control management and administers water sale contracts
to agricultural districts and local water agencies. The
Domestic water division oversees and administers the Ashe,
Riverlakes and Fairhaven domestic water systems that provide
drinking water to over 130,000 residents and local businesses
who has lived in California knows that water is a precious
commodity that has been a source of rivalry between northern
and southern California since the early Gold Rush days. Bakersfield
is located in south-central California with a "liquid" gold
mine of it's own -- called the Kern River. Dating back to
the 1860's, the Kern County Land Company (and later Tenneco
West, Inc.) established water rights through continuous and
beneficial use of the Kern River water.
the November 1976 general election, City residents approved
water Measure "B" which authorized the purchase
of over $18 million in water rights, facilities and river
properties formerly held by Tenneco. Today, as an enterprise
operation, the Water Resources Department of the City of
Bakersfield is funded entirely through rates charged for
water and services.
Isabella Reservoir on the
Kern River was completed in April 1953 with a capacity
of 570,000 acre-feet. A major flood control and recreational
facility, it is located approximately 40 miles northeast
of the City of Bakersfield and is operated by the U. S.
Army Corps of Engineers.