Berrenda Mesa Water District (BMWD) was formed by landowners on September 3, 1963 for the purpose of providing irrigation water from the State Water Project (SWP) to the lands within the District. After contract execution with the Kern County Water Agency in 1967, the District commenced water deliveries in 1968.
The District is located within the southern San Joaquin Valley about 50 miles northwest of the City of Bakersfield in the Northwestern corner of Kern County on the eastern edge of the Temblor Range. State Highways 46 and 33 traverse the District boundaries. Elevations range from 460 feet above sea level in the northeast to 1,200 feet in the southwest.
The District owns and operates an irrigation distribution system that encompasses 55,440 acres of agricultural lands in western Kern County. The net cropped area in 2013 is 32,420 acres, of which about 27,200 is irrigated. The most common crops are pistachios, almonds, pomegranates, and carrots. Other crops include hay, grain and grapes. Some livestock grazing also occurs on previously farmed land (fallow). Approximately 6,440 acres in the service area are non-farmable land (oilfields, mountain slopes, low (yield) producing land).
The District has 92,800 Acre-Feet (AF) of firm SWP Table A water. Approximately 86,872 AF is under contract and 4,982 AF is allocated to Non-Contract landowners in the District.
Nearly 98 percent of the water delivered into the district is through the Coastal Branch of the California Aqueduct. Remaining deliveries are made via the district’s lone turnout on the main branch of the California Aqueduct. The District’s water conveyance and delivery system was designed mainly for gravity flow. Once water is pumped uphill 225 feet (by Pump Station A located at the terminus of Coastal Aqueduct) to a regulation reservoir, the water flows by gravity through a main concrete lined canal. Gravity pipeline lateral feed lands that are lower in elevation than the canal. Water is delivered to a higher elevation land from the main canal using pump stations and pipelines.