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LOIS HENRY: Through dry years, lawsuits – city water leader met challenges cheerfully

Art Chianello, who has led Bakersfield’s Water Resources Department through two of the state’s worst droughts and one of its wettest years on record, is retiring at the end of September.

Most municipal water departments are fairly quiet operations. As long as water comes out of taps, not many people pay attention.

Lois Henry is the CEO and editor of SJV Water, a nonprofit, independent online news publication dedicated to covering water issues in the San Joaquin Valley. She can be reached at The website is

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