The East Kaweah Groundwater Sustainability Agency held its advisory committee meeting on Monday, March 19, 2018 at the Lindsay Wellness Center in Lindsay. Chairman Joe Ferrari called the meeting to order at 4:00 pm. I really appreciate how the name tags provided for the committee members have both first and last names. Very helpful. Executive Officer Michael Hagman wasn’t present in the room but he communed by telephone. After roll call and introductions, the agenda was approved as was the minutes. The topic of safe yield was discussed and that’s sticky subject.
Matt Klinchuch, engineer Provost & Pritchard, was on hand to help with some of the fine points. Committee member Allan Lombardi was concerned about all three of the GSAs in the Kaweah Sub Basin having to accept an equal amount of yield – allocation of groundwater – regardless of any unique situations such as groundwater quality or imports. Hagman responded that was a not a complete view. It gets into appropriation, channel loss and how to account for underground flows. Hagman, and no one else either for that matter, can determine a yield at this time. Inflow, outflow, sources and courses of these flows – above and below ground as well as extraction, recharge and pumping have to be plugged into the formula and mixed up with the hydrogeology. Ferrari asked Klinchuch to elaborate. Klinchuch said as he recalls from the last sub basin wide meeting the goal is to get as close to an adjudication without triggering that awful court odyssey. No one is making any hard stance and all the attorneys for the three GSAs are on tract to willingly work together. Hagman added he sees a technical, legal and a heavy meeting of the minds to come up with an allocation acceptable. He said a political solution will be the ultimate result but there has to be a sound understanding of the engineering. Karen Yohannes commented the white areas are going to be impacted the most because they pump the most. She said she’d like to see policy that takes that into account the economics of that scenario’s impact. Committeeman Joe Russell said he sides with Lombardi and wants a plan in place before the negotiations take place. Russell felt the EKGSA will get “screwed” if there isn’t a number in place. He said he has property on the river (Kaweah?) with high groundwater levels, great water quality and why should he pump more than someone else? Hagman said he doesn’t want to get in a place where the 30,000 a/f of estimated overdraft in the EKGSA has be counted the same as an area in the western part of the sub basin that might be over drafting three times as much.
Groundwater markets was the next topic. Hagman urged folks to share their thoughts with Klinchuch. He said there is a goldmine in the CVP contracts in the area as they bring in extra water from the San Joaquin River that would not have naturally occurred. The foundation questions are: how to measure groundwater extractions, setting overall pumping limits and establishing individual groundwater extraction allocations. Hagman had to leave the meeting.
Klinchuch gave a presentation of hydrologic conceptual model. He gave the DWR explanation of a HCM. The model takes into consideration all the water inputs and exits of the area. Ultimately the model developed will be understandable by layman and expert. He identified how this will be used and its purpose in SGMA. More than a decade ago the Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District conducted a Water Resources Investigation. Almost two-thirds of the sub basin has been covered but EKGSA and a couple of spots to the west need to be included. He sees this close to be completed by the end of the year if I understood. The consultants working in the Kaweah Sub Bains are P&P, GEI, GSI and David’s Engineering. They all will work together to develop the HCM in order to develop the GSP. All the GSAs have to coordinate the GSPs and that is where the heavy lifting comes in. Klinchuch said the other GSAs; Mid Kaweah and Greater Kaweah want to see the data from EKGSA before they are ready to talk about the allocation figures. Committee member Adriana Renteria asked about drinking water for the smaller communities and how evapotranspiration (ET) will impact them. Klinchuch said the amount of ET generated by a community like Tooleville will almost be nil. Committee member Dan Dreyer said there is concern by the citrus interests the original ET established back in the 1940s is inaccurate.
With that Tribly Barton, P&P gave an update on the outreach program. She recapped the comments and revisions in the outreach plan. There was a lot to it and not much time or background to give you a good report on this. I can say there was a good deal of wordsmithing going on to revise the document. Ferrari said this is a living document and things will change. However, he asked for a recommendation to send the plan to the board as revised. The committee approved. Committee member Cruz Rivera suggested switching to Google Docs. Barton presented a final draft of the EKGSA fact sheet. It’s a nice, two-page, full color document. Once approved it will be translated into Spanish and included in the public outreach material. The committee was good with the changes and ready to start the outreach.
Yohannes said the meeting venue for all things EKGSA may change to a location in Exeter, or somewhere else. With that the meeting adjourned.
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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2018 by Don A. Wright No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of DAW.
SGMA The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 calls for the formation of Groundwater Sustainability Areas within Basins and Sub-basins to develop Groundwater Sustainability Plans.
EAST KAWEAH GSA 315 E. Lindmore Street, Lindsay, CA 93247. Telephone 559/562-2534. Mailing address PO Box 908 Lindsay, CA 93247 Board meetings are generally the 4th Monday of the month at the Lindsay Wellness Center at 3:00 pm.
Members: County of Tulare, City of Lindsay, Exeter ID, Ivanhoe ID, Lindsay Strathmore ID, Lindmore ID and Stone Corral ID
Staff: Michael Hagman – Executive Director, Ravi Patel – Attorney