Water News


Exhibit booth space available at 2017 Kern County Water Summit

Your business can host a booth at the March 1, 2017 Kern County Water Summit. Attendees can learn about your organization, visit with your staff and learn about new products and services. Attendance is anticipated at 300-500 with a slate of top-notch speakers. Download the exhibit form and mail to: WAKC, P.O. Box 2165, Bakersfield, CA 93303.

Questions? Call 661-746-3300.

exhibit form 2


2017 Kern County Water Summit – Tickets now available

March 1, 2017 – The New Reality

Presented by the Water Association of Kern County
What every business owner, community leader, public official, oil company manager or farmer needs to know about how water impacts growth, development and sustainability.

A full day of discussion about California’s most critical water issues – Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta challenges; groundwater legislation/implementation/impacts; urban water management; economics of water; and politics of water.

Double Tree Hotel, 3100 Camino Del Rio Ct, Bakersfield, CA 93308

7 a.m – 5 p.m.
WAKC Members – $75
Non-Members – $100
Tables of Eight – $600

Buy tickets online here.

Or download a reservation form and mail it in.

Water Summit Flyer
summit flyer

DoubleTree Hotel reservation information here.


2017 Kern County Water Summit
March 1, 2017
(subject to change)

Water 101 — Where does Kern County get its water supply and how much is really available for development, farming, industry and homes? — Curtis Creel, Kern County Water Agency

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta — The center of California’s water supply and the hub of a political and regulatory storm — Panel moderator, Mike Wade, California Farm Water Coalition
Randy Fiorini, Delta Stewardship Council
Gary Bobker, The Bay Institute
Jason Peltier, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority
DeeDee D’Adamo, State Water Resources Control Board

The Changing Climate — Plants: A Window Into Drought — John Austin, Author of “Floods and Droughts in the Tulare Lake Basin”

Groundwater — The Genie is out of the bottle — How groundwater regulation will impact everyone (yes, that means schools, developers, farmers, oil companies, business and homeowners) in Kern County — Panel moderator, Eric Averett, Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District
Jason Pucheu, Maricopa Orchards
Jennifer Pitcher, Western States Petroleum Association

A Statewide Perspective on Water — Bill Croyle, Acting Director, California Department of Water Resources

Urban Water Supply Challenges — Can cities and towns thrive in a shrinking water environment? — Panel Moderator, Harry Starkey, West Kern Water District
Jason Meadors, City of Bakersfield
Tricia Wathen, State Water Resources Control Board – Division of Drinking Water
Home Builders Association of Kern County
Susan Cordone, California Water Service Co.

The Water/Money Nexus — How water supplies hit everyone in the pocketbook– Panel Moderator, Nick Ortiz, Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce
Richard Chapman, Kern Economic Development Corp.
Dr. David Sunding, University of California, Berkeley

Political Realities – Striking a balance in a charged political climate —Panel Moderator — Lois Henry, The Bakersfield Californian
Supervisor David Couch, County of Kern
Senator Jean Fuller, California State Senate
Dale Kasler, The Sacramento Bee
Johnny Amaral, Westlands Water District


Social Media Training – for the skeptical

Social Media Training
for the untrained, shy, hesitant and skeptical
(translation – farmers, ranchers, water managers and business people)

Last year, countless members of the California legislature watched what was trending on social media before voting on the ag overtime bill. Because farmers, business people and “upper generation” folks in general don’t use social media, no tweets or posts came and the legislators voted to pass the onerous overtime bill.

Learn how to use social media from the comfort of your office or pick-up truck
to help boost ag/business issues, show support or opposition to bills, regulations or other issues with legislators, politicians, regulators, special interest groups and the general public. It’s easy and can help make your voice heard in a state and nation over-run with tech-savvy special interest groups.

Or, just learn how to tell all your friends about your new dog.

February 1, 2017, Kern Ag Pavilion
8a.m. – 12 p.m. Lunch is provided
3300 E. Belle Terrace, Bakersfield

FREE but RSVP to info@wakc.com
(post this on social media if you can)


Sponsored by

2017 Kern County Water Summit slated March 1

summit logoThe 2017 Kern County Water Summit, scheduled March 1, will be a day of intriguing discussion and presentations on water issues impacting Kern County, California and the nation. Presented by the Water Association of Kern County, topics to be discussed include Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta issues, groundwater regulations, urban water management and supplies, water politics and the California WaterFix. The event is designed to inform business owners, oil company representatives, farmers, local government officials and managers, and the general public about the critical importance of water in our community and the many challenges leaders faced in securing a safe, reliable water supply for the Kern County area. High-level keynote speakers will offer attendees insight and information about critical water topics. The Summit will be open to the public and speakers will provide useful, thought-provoking information that will spur debate and problem resolution. It is expected that approximately 300-400 will attend the conference.

Become a sponsor for the 2017 Kern County Water Summit! Information on sponsorship is available to below. For more information contact Beth Pandol at 661-745-3300 or 661-302-8171.2017 Kern County Water Summit Sponsor Form

Thomson, Averett win WAKC awards


Roy Pierucci, left, presents the Water Leader of the Year Award to Eric Averett, general manager of Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District.


Jack Thomson, left, receives the Water Legacy Award from Will Boschman. Thomson received the award for his long-time dedication to water issues in Kern County.

The Water Association of Kern County (WAKC), awarded Jack Thomson, long-time water leader, the first Water Association of Kern County Water Legacy Award at the organization’s annual meeting on November 1. Thomson, an original signatory on the State Water Project and a long-time board member of Kern County Water Agency was recognized for his long dedication to water issues, agriculture and civic responsibility.

Born in Oil Center, CA to John (Jack) Thomson, an immigrant from Scotland, and Naomi Crawford Thomson, who was born on the family farm near Buttonwillow, young Jack and his family moved around southern California during the Depression but ended up back in Buttonwillow by the mid-1930s. Thomson attended Kern County High School and was chosen as one of twelve outstanding seniors in the 1940 class of 780 students.

He attended Bakersfield College then in 1942, went to the University of California at Davis until the campus was taken over by the Signal Corps and closed to academics during World War II. In 1943, he transferred to U.C. Berkeley until he was called into the U.S. Navy Air to begin pilot training. From 1943-46 he trained as a fighter pilot in multi-engine planes. After release from the Navy in 1946, he returned to Davis to complete his degree.

In December 1946, he married Mary Louise Frick and, unfortunately, Mary Lou passed away in October. They would have celebrated 70 years together this December.

Thomson completed his degree at Davis where he graduated in the first class following WWII.

The Thomsons returned to Kern County in November 1947 and began farming. In 1955, he was selected by the U.S. .Junior Chamber of Commerce as one of four outstanding Young Farmers in the nation because of his innovative farming methods, family and community service. In 1957, the family moved from Buttonwillow to the Vineland area where he began to also farm the ranch of his father-in-law, Lloyd Frick.

Thomson served as president of the Kern County Farm Bureau from 1957-1959 and was involved in the establishment of the Water Association of Kern County. From 1962-1982, he served as one of the first members of the board of the Kern County Water Agency and is a signatory on the State Water Project contract for Kern County. During his 21 consecutive years of service, he served as President of the agency board three times. Also at this time, he was a member of the Kern County Civil Service Commission, served on the board of the Bear Mountain Winery, Arvin Congregational Church and was elected to the board of trustees of the Vineland School District.

In 1982 Governor Deukmejian appointed Thomson to the California Water Commission where he served until 1990. From 1982-94, he served on the Board of Directors for Cotton Incorporated and chaired the International Marketing Committee. From 1983-98, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the California Living Museum and served as President one term and later joined the CALM Foundation Board. From 1992-2000, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Supima Cotton Board. He has been a member of the Chancellor’s Club at UC Davis since 1976.

Also honored at the annual meeting was Eric Averett, general manager of Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District who received the 2016 Water Leader of the Year Award. Averett has been active in the water community since the early 1990s and has a B.S. degree in Environmental Resource Management from California State University Bakersfield. He has served as adjunct professor for the Kern Community and Taft Community College systems since 1999 where he teaches classes on physical and chemical processes in water treatment.

He also teaches water -related courses throughout California and Nevada for the American Water Works Association and is certified as a Treatment and Distribution Operator with the State of California at the T5/D5 level.

He has been a general manager of a water district since 2008 but made his mark more recently serving as chair of the Kern River Watershed Coalition and manager of the Kern Groundwater Authority. These mammoth efforts cover very difficult topics and challenges and Averett was honored for showing leadership and perseverance in managing so many varying interests and positions.

New WAKC Board of Directors

A new Water Association of Kern County Board of Directors was elected November 1 at the organization’s 61st annual meeting. Guest speaker was Jeffrey Kightlinger, General Manager at Metropolitan Water District of Southern California .

The new board is:

Jeanne Varga, President, Consultant
Bill Taube, First Vice President, Wheeler Ridge-Maricopa Water Storage District
Gene Lundquist, Second Vice President, Kern County Water Agency
Dana Munn, Treasurer, Shafter-Wasco Irrigation District
Larry Rodriguez, Secretary, GEI Consultants
Beth Pandol, Executive Director

Executive Committee
Kim Brown, Wonderful Orchards
Ernest Conant, Young Wooldridge LLP
David Couch, Kern County Board of Supervisors
Steve Dalke, Kern-Tulare Water District
Jason Gianquinto, Semitropic Water Storage District
John Moore, Kern County Farm Bureau
Tim Ruiz, East Niles Community Services District
Harry Starkey, West Kern Water District

David Ansolabehere, Cawelo Water District
Joe Ashley, California Resources Corp.
Eric Averett, Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District
Les Clark, Independent Oil Producers
Angelica Martin, Tejon Ranch
Jason Meadors, City of Bakersfield Water Resources Department
Mark Mulkay, Kern Delta Water District
Denise Newton, Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
David Nixon, Arvin-Edison Water Storage District
Doug Nunneley, Oildale Mutual Water Company
Scott Thayer, Castle & Cooke, Inc.
Rudy Valles, California Water Service Company

Groundwater and Geology to be Surveyed Using Low-flying Helicopter in Southern San Joaquin Valley

What: A low-flying helicopter under contract to the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the California State Water Resources Control Board, will begin collecting and recording geophysical measurements for scientific research purposes.

Where: Southern San Joaquin Valley, California with focused efforts near the towns of Lost Hills, Buttonwillow and Cawelo. Additional surveying will occur along the San Andreas fault near Parkfield.

When: Starting on or about September 30, 2016, and lasting one to two weeks.

Residents of these areas should expect to see a low-flying helicopter towing a large wire-loop hanging from a cable in the southern San Joaquin Valley and a part of the San Andreas fault near Parkfield, California during the next couple of weeks.

The work is expected to start September 30 and will last about 1 or 2 weeks with a low-flying helicopter collecting and recording geophysical measurements for scientific research purposes.

The SkyTEM helicopter-borne geophysical system will collect measurements in the southern San Joaquin Valley, with focused efforts near the towns of Lost Hills, Buttonwillow, and Cawelo, California. Additional surveying will also occur along the San Andreas fault system near Parkfield. These surveys entail flying relatively low to the ground (hundreds of feet above the surface) in a uniform pattern to measure electrical properties of the earth. Data collected during this survey will assist USGS scientists in mapping groundwater salinity, aquifer properties and faults.

SkyTEM ApS, a specialty airborne geophysical company, will conduct the geophysical survey. Experienced pilots, who are specially trained for low-level flying required for geophysical surveys, will be operating the helicopter. The company works with the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure flights are in accordance with U.S. law.

More information about this project can be found here:
http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/ water_issues/programs/groundwater/sb4/regional_monitoring/in dex.shtml

Water 101 – links to presentations

Here is a link to the presentation by Jason Gianquinto at the WAKC Water 101 discussion on June 15. This provides information about California’s water supply, how Kern County gets water, how much we get and where it goes.

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Water Fact

In 1908, Jersey City, New Jersey and Chicago, Illinois were the first water supplies to be chlorinated in the U.S.

Join the Water Association of Kern County

Help support education, outreach and information about water issues in Kern County.

The Water Association of Kern County is embarking upon a new, stronger effort to educate the general public about water issues that effect Kern County. A newly designed website, videos, Facebook and Twitter are all methods that will be used as a way of reaching the public. Messages will be simple and clear and provide many sources of information about water so that citizens  and policy makers can become informed and be better decision makers. Learn More ▸

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