Court rules City of Bakersfield took water illegally from Kern River, ordered to reimburse $2.8 million

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Superior Court of Ventura County found that the City of Bakersfield violated an agreement with the North Kern Water Storage District and took water illegally from the Kern River.

The city is required to deliver 20,000 acre-feet of water back to the North Kern Water Storage District and repay them $2.8 million in pumping costs. North Kern has “First Priority” Rights to the water in the Kern River, according to a longstanding legal agreement secured in 2014.

“This is the Ventura Court’s third decision that has consistently ruled that Bakersfield may not arbitrarily ignore the law and disregard prior legal agreements and the Court’s judgment,” North Kern General Manager David Hampton said. 

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