By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Water levels in the Indian Wells Valley are dropping. There is less water going into the basin than is going out. The desert plain surrounding Ridgecrest looks grim.
That is how First District Supervisor Mick Gleason described the east Kern water situation Monday on "First Look with Scott Cox."
"You can't fix 60 years of over-use in a quick fix," Gleason said. "It's going to take a series of fixes to get us out of the situation."
Remaining hopeful, Gleason contracted with consultant engineers to study groundwater data from the area and used that report as a reference for today's water levels and the future.
The report showed water levels dropped rapidly after there was more agriculture in the area. But pointing fingers is not the solution.
"You can't blame it on agriculture; it's not fair," Gleason said. "We are all in the same boat together and we will get out of it together once we understand our land usage and take the opportunity."
Gleason also talked about the Kern Stop Meth program initiated in the Kern River Valley and Ridgecrest. It was created in hopes of decreasing the significant methamphetamine use in those communities.
In Ridgecrest, Gleason said, a faith-based approach is helping. Clergy of all dominations in Ridgecrest talked to the community about methamphetamine abuse and they recognized it was a community problem.
There is also a mentorship program in Ridgecrest that brings elderly people to talk and share experiences with young kids, in hopes of inspiring them and navigating them in the right direction.
"They are young kids exposed to environments where poor judgment prevails," Gleason said.
If Gleason sees a decrease in methamphetamine use in the Kern River Valley and Ridgecrest, he plans to bring the programs to Oildale.