By The Bakersfield Californian
The Kern River is dry through town right now, but don't despair.
It's only temporary as the city begins repairs on some old headgates at the River Canal near Coffee Road, according to Water Resources Manager Art Chianello.
City officials had to divert the river upstream near Golden State Avenue starting Monday while they built dirt berms to isolate the headgates near Coffee, he said.
By 9 a.m. Friday, however, water will begin flowing back into the river bed at Golden State Avenue making its way downstream to Coffee.
And in a few days, more water will be coming into the river at Coffee heading west courtesy of the Friant-Kern Canal.
So, our river should be a river -- albeit a stop-and-go one -- again soon.
In other river news, the North Kern Water Storage District, and several ag water districts, is intent on going back to court over a state board's ruling that the Kern River is not fully appropriated.
It has lost on this issue twice now but filed a notice of appeal Oct. 11.
The State Water Resources Control Board found in February 2010 that the river was no longer fully appropriated after a protracted legal battle between North Kern and Kern Delta Water District resulted in the forfeiture of some of Kern Delta's Kern River water.
North Kern, along with the city of Shafter, Buena Vista Water Storage District, the Kern County Water Agency and Kern Water Bank, all filed applications with the state board to get that water.
The city of Bakersfield also filed an application for that water. It is the only entity that has pledged to run the forfeited water down the river.
Shortly after that finding at the state board, North Kern and the other agencies sued to overturn its decision that the river wasn't fully appropriated.
Yes, they applied for water they later said didn't exist. It's complex, sorry.
Two Kern County judges ruled against North Kern, first denying its attempt to get an injunction against the state board's ruling and then in May refusing to set aside the state board's decision.
North Kern is apparently going for round three.
Some people just have more money than sense, I suppose.
-- Columnist Lois Henry