This article by Lois Henry; CEO and editor of SJV Water, a nonprofit, independent online news publication dedicated to covering water issues in the San Joaquin Valley; was published in the Bakersfield Californian August 10, 2021.

A new player has entered the legal fray over the Kern River — the public.

Actually, it’s a consortium of Bakersfield and other nonprofit, public interest groups that hope to sway the state Water Resources Control Board to, ultimately, re-water the mostly dry Kern River through town.

The Flowing Kern Coalition made its debut Tuesday when it filed a notice of intent to appear at an upcoming proceeding on the Kern River.

The Water Board’s Administrative Hearing Office announced in July it would begin the process of deciding whether the river has available water and, if so, how much on Aug. 17.

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