Perhaps it seems crazy that Bakersfield has actually ramped up home construction during one of the worst droughts in California history. Especially crazy since the city’s river rights dried up last summer, bringing 20,000 residents narrowingly close to running out of water. All of which got me wondering how much more development Bakersfield’s water supplies can sustain. I kind of figured there’d be a number, right? Sadly no, not one person knew or thought about “Will this effect our water”. Now some workers that need the water to build the homes, so he asks some people for some water, anyone. He finally found Oildale and takes some of there water, now people are getting mad. The Gossamer Grove development by Lennar Homes under construction north of 7th Standard Road and west of Calloway Drive is just starting to sell its first homes. About 400 are planned for this year.
Why should you care where 3,000 homes in Shafter are getting their water? First, ahem, it’s water. Groundwater in that area is notorious for nitrates so I wondered, “Where’s their water coming from?” The answer to that is a fascinating dip into Kern’s ever-morphing water puzzle. I’m not saying the deal to get Oildale water into Shafter homes is right or wrong. I just think it’s important to understand how our water supplies are tallied and used as development marches on in Bakersfield.