But other districts aren't so lucky

While other water districts are facing cutbacks in the amount of water they can provide to their customers under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), the West Kern Water District, which supplies Taft, outlying Westside communities and the oil and power industry with water, is sitting pretty.

In fact, its sitting on a 10-year supply (about 260,000 acre feet) and, in most years, it takes in an average of 4,000 acre feet more than it needs, according to a report WKWD General Manager Greg Hammett presented to the Kern Groundwater Authority last week.

The WKWD is in an unusually advantageous position because it is a banking water district, and its wells draw water from an underground aquifer that is replenished from the California Aqueduct instead of relying on aquifers naturally replenished by rain and snow runoff.

In simple terms, as Hammett wrote, "The WKGSA operates sustainably by balancing recovery with recharge."

Other Districts in the area are not so fortunate. Both Hammett, who joined the District earlier this year, and former General manager Harry Starkey said some farmland in the region is probably going to be left fallow because their won;t be enough supplies.

To the east, in the Indian Wells Valley that includes the Ridgecrest-Inyokern area, water use is going to have to be drastically reduced, meaning some orchards will have to b removed at ratepayer expense.

All California water district were required by SGMA, a series of bills signed into law in 2014, to have sustainable groundwater policies by 2042 but submit plans to reach that goal in the next couple of years.
The WKWD plan is being finalized.

The local district will be joining other Kern County Water Districts at a public review and open house of Kern County groundwater sustainability plans on April 26 in the Kern Ag Pavilion, 3300 E. Belle Terrace in Bakersfield.