‘Dry River March’ brings dozens to the Bakersfield river bed

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Bakersfield community came out to show their support for a flowing Kern River by marching along the dry riverbed.

It’s a nine-mile march to help bring awareness to people in Bakersfield of the water that could fill the Kern river. 

Bring Back the Kern River and the Kern River Parkway Foundation hosted the “Dry River March” where dozens of people walked alongside the riverbed.

Their goal is to raise awareness about the extent of the community’s dry river problem, and to bring hope that we can once again have a flowing river.  

“The reason we’re marching is that we want the public, we want the leaders, we want the state department of water resources to know that we should have some of the unappropriated water run down the river,” Richard Oneil the president of the Kern River Parkway Foundation said.

The marchers started at Panorama Park across from Greenlawn Cemetery and finished their nine-mile journey at the Park at the Riverwalk. 

The timing of the march is especially important given the ongoing Kern River hearing at the State Water Board, where the state has an unprecedented opportunity to allocate additional water to create a flowing Kern River through Bakersfield. 

“There are 50,000-acre feet of Kern River water available and the State Water Resources Control board is going to reassign that water,” Bill Cooper a board member of the Kern River Parkway Foundation said. “The City of Bakersfield is putting in an application for that water.” 

The Kern River Parkway Foundation said they already have an attorney preparing a case. 

“We’re not trying to take water away from anybody,” Cooper said. “It’ll be recharged ground water. From there it can be pumped out by the city of Bakersfield.” 

More information on the battle for water as well as the Kern River Parkway Foundation can be found on this link to their website.

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