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Water Association of Kern County to host fifth Kern County Water Summit

Jenny Holtermann.jpg

Jenny Holtermann

Virtual. A word we have heard and seen a lot of over the past year. This year, the Water Association of Kern County is using virtual to our advantage and bringing speakers from across the state and nation to your computer screens. At a time where the world is at our fingertips, we are excited to bring top governmental appointees from Washington, D.C., and Sacramento.

The Water Association of Kern County is a nonprofit 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.

The Water Association of Kern County will host the fifth Kern County Water Summit on May 25, and this year we are going virtual. We are featuring a morning full of discussion about California’s most critical water issues and bringing it right to your computer screen. From the comfort of your home or office, you can stream our lineup of water speakers. Whether you are a community leader, business owner, farmer, or government official, this will be a morning for you.

Our morning will begin with an update from the newest Biden administration appointee to the Bureau of Reclamation, Deputy Commissioner Camille Touton. She will provide an update on federal water in the West. Having a D.C. representative as a speaker for our Water Summit is a privilege and we are pleased to present her on our virtual platform.

With the impending review process of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act underway, Steven Springhorn from the Department of Water Resources will address our current situation in the process. The review is underway and receiving this check on where we are will be an asset to our valley.

Recently, the State Water Resources Control Board issued a report, “Effective Water Rights Response to Climate Change.” Joaquin Esquivel will join us for a response as the chair of the board. Valerie Kincaid, a water law attorney and partner at O’Laughlin & Paris, will also present her reaction to the report. Having both of these presenters offering their opinion on the report will be an informative discussion.

Lastly, our keynote speaker this year is Mark Arax, award-winning journalist and author of "The Dreamt Land; Chasing Water and Dust Across California." Arax has made a career of researching and writing on the water in the Central Valley. Arax joins us for an overview of his latest book, water rights and its role in the Central Valley.

Attendees will be able to watch live with us and will also have access to the Water Summit platform for up to a year. After each speaker presents there will also be a live question and answer portion to their presentation. We hope you will use this opportunity to interact and engage with these key governmental officials. Our sponsors will also be available for a live chat to connect and participate in conversation.

Use the virtual platform to your advantage. Join us for a morning full of water issues and hot topics straight from the source.

The Water Summit will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. virtually. The cost to attend is $75 for WAKC members and $100 for nonmembers. Tickets are available online at

Jenny Holtermann is the executive director of the Water Association of Kern County. WAKC’s mission is to inform and educate the public and water community about water issues in Kern County. As a fourth-generation farmer herself, who farms almonds with her husband and family in Wasco and Shafter, Jenny understands water issues firsthand. Jenny has a passion for her community and giving back through the numerous local, state and national boards she serves on as an advocate for agriculture and water.

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