Water in Kern County

Water… the key ingredient to life in Kern County

Water is the key ingredient to life in Kern County. Everything – from pizza parlors to beauty salons, oil pumps to pistachio farms – needs water to survive and thrive.

Water fact: One acre-foot of water is 326,000 gallons. This is enough to supply two families with water for one year.

That’s approximately one football field covered with 1 foot of water

Who uses the water in Kern County?

Municipal and industrial: 166,000 acre-feet
(Homes, auto shops, restaurants, factories, schools, etc.)

Agricultural: 2,294,000 acre-feet
(Farms that grow the food we eat – and feed the nation. California and Kern County farmers grow over 250 crops.)

Water sources in Kern County

Precipitation in Bakersfield averages 6.49 inches per year. It’s a very dry climate. That means water for families, business, farms, the environment and recreation, has to come from elsewhere. Besides rain and snow, there are several water sources in Kern County, all of which are limited, valuable and important to Kern County’s economy and lifestyle.

Source Percent
Kern River 20%
State Water Project
(California Aqueduct)
Federal (CVP)
(Friant-Kern Canal)
Local Streams and Other Sources
(Poso Creek, etc.)
Groundwater 36%
TOTAL  100%


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 ▸

High-Flow Members

River Run Members