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For Immediate Release: March 20, 2023 For more information contact:
Jenny Holtermann
661-746-3300 or 661-477-8084
A full day of discussion about California’s critical water challenges
BAKERSFIELD, CA – The Water Association of Kern County will host the seventh (7th) annual Kern County Water Summit on Friday, March 24th, 2023, featuring a full day of discussion about California’s most critical water issues that impact urban, agricultural, and industrial sectors. The event is designed for all community leaders, business owners, farmers, and government officials who need to know how important water is to growth and sustainability and what challenges are faced by water managers in securing and managing water supplies for California.

Conference Schedule

6:30 am Check In & Vendor Showcase
7:30 a.m. Opening Remarks Scott Thayer President, Water Association of Kern County
Karen Goh City of Bakersfield Mayor
7:45 a.m. Federal Water and Infrastructure Update Ernest Conant Bureau of Reclamation
8:05 a.m. Kern County Outlook; how water storage & availability will impact the future
Moderator: Tom McCarthy Kern County Water Agency, Lorelei Oviatt Kern County Planning Director, Christine Zimmerman Western States Petroleum Association, Mike Ming Alliance Ag Services & Melissa Hurtado California State Senator
9:00 am Colorado River; what is coming down the river and where is it going?
Moderator: Ernest Conant Bureau of Reclamation, Peter Nelson Board Member Colorado River Board of California, Bill Hasencamp Metropolitan Water District & Alex Cardenas Imperial Irrigation District
10:00 a.m. Break/Vendor Showcase
10:25 a.m. Food Security; A 100 mile circle fighting to preserve America’s Food Independence – Moderator: Jason Giannelli Old River Farming Company, Bill Harrison Harrison Co., Jeff Aiello American Grown Producer & Justin Parnagian Fowler Packing
11:20 a.m. California Water Supply StrategyNancy Vogel, Deputy Secretary of Water, Ca Natural Resources Agency
12:00 p.m. Lunch/Vendor Showcase
12:45 p.m. To build or not to build, cost & benefit comparison of infrastructure
Moderator: Johnny Amaral Friant Water Authority, Ellen Hanak Public Policy Institute, Rob Kunde Member Sites Reservoir Project Committee, Scott Hamilton Hamilton Resource Economics & Ted Craddock Deputy Director State Water Project
2:00 p.m. Adjournment/ Drawing

The event will be from 6:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Mechanics Bank Theatre, 1001 Truxtun Ave. in Bakersfield. Press Passes are available. Ticket Sales are closed.The Water Association of Kern County is a non-profit organization, designed to educate and inform Kern County citizens about water issues and events. Members consist of local water districts, agencies and affiliated groups and individuals. More information may be found at

661-746-3330 P.O. Box 2165, Bakersfield Ca 93303

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