Kern River Water Rights – A Case Study

October 21, 2023

32nd Annual Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite®

Downey Brand water law partner Sam Bivins will be presenting at the 32nd Annual Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite. His presentation, “Kern River Water Rights – A Case Study,” is taking place on Saturday, October 21, from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM.


From the California Supreme Court’s formative ruling in Lux v. Haggin to connections with the State Water Project and Central Valley Project, the Kern River plays an important role and has a rich history in surface and groundwater rights, facilitating water transfers and groundwater banking, and more recent implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and State Water Board proceedings and litigation on forfeiture, fully appropriated stream status, new appropriations of surplus floodwaters, and the public trust and reasonable use doctrines.  The Kern River Basin provides a number of lessons in California water law and prospects for future water supplies.

Additional Speakers

  • Lois Henry (Moderator) SJV Water, CEO and Editor
  • Aruna Prabhala, Center for Biological Diversity, Urban Wildlands Program Director, Senior Attorney
  • Scott A. Miltenberger, Ph.D., JRP Historical Consulting, LLC, Principal, Historian

For more information and to register, please visit the event web page.