The Kings River Conservation District held its Tuesday, September 11, 2018 board of directors meeting at its Fresno headquarters. Chairman Dr. David Cehrs called the meeting at 1:30 pm but it went directly into closed session. About 20 minutes later open session started again with no reportable action. Kings River Water Master Steve Haugen gave the water report. There will only be 200-300 cfs coming out of Pine Flat in October. He guessed the water year at 75 percent if there is no more rain between now and the end of the water year. He said storage was very helpful this year. It boosted the yield to a level comparable to a 100 percent year.
Cehrs asked Haugen to briefly speak on the NASA Airborne Snow Observatory. Haugen said the program began on the Tuolumne River and is now spreading out over the Sierra Nevada. A plane equipped with Lidar gets a base reading on bare ground. It then flies over the area after the snowfalls, coupled with the ground-truthing of readings a much more accurate estimation of snowpack. NASA does the flights, an outfit from Idaho does the modeling and there are grant funds available. DWR is pushing to this and the goal is DWR will ultimately fund the ASO. The plan is to fly at the same time as the on ground snow surveys. By itself ASO doesn’t do much with water content as it can’t determine density. But combined with the on-ground surveys that can be modeled.
Under directors’ reports Cehrs said Fresno Irrigation District’s General Manager Gary Serrato reported at the last North Kings GSP meeting that Sacramento will never accept recharge as a beneficial use. But the purpose the banked water will serve can be considered a beneficial use so recharge can be used.
KRCD General Manager Paul Peschel gave his report and he talks fast. The report included federal and state legislation updates. On the state side the water tax bill will not go forward. The was a state senate bill that passed will give state legislators more flexibility on where they live. I don’t know if this is going to lead to a new renaissance in carpet bagging. California will not be using any carbon-based fossil fuel to generate electricity by 2040 because Governor Jerry Brown said so. The California Water Commission is reviewing its Prop One distribution for future disbursements. The Oroville Dam repair is up to $1.1 billion. He said a number of House committees are looking at overhauling the permitting requirements, good for them. The EPA has a veto power on water pollution permits and there is a move to change that. The Trump administration is looking at coal and nuclear energy as critical resources to help keep more power plants open. An update to the California Water Plan is coming out in December. A new group is forming – the Watershed Connections Collaborative and the Tulare Basin Wildlife Partners, headed up by Matt Hurley. There will be a global climate summit in San Francisco this Friday. There was a summery judgement on counties’ granting extraction permits. We’ll see what that does to SGMA.
Cristel Tufenkjian, Director of External Affairs reporters reported tweets and Instagram followers are picking up. Face Book is for bigger events and not so much day to day. She said some one is combining all this social media together. Videos are also being produced to help educate constituents on SGMA matters. Tufenkjian stays on top of this stuff. She and her staff keep up on who and how many folks are looking at different things like GSAs, workshops, agendas and such.
Charlotte Gallock, Manager Water Resources reported the Regional Water Board is looking at changing the East San Joaquin plan. Staff is in talks with them. The CV Salts will hold two meeting in December, workshops really, more info as it comes in. A salinity prioritization and optimizing study is going on. There are nearly 100 wells in the sampling network for the water quality needs. The gooberment has sent out letters from the Regional Board to landowners about noncompliance to the Irritated Lands Program. Cehrs asked Gallock about five years of missing maps from CASGEM showing the surface of the water table in the Valley. He said the state used to prepare these maps annually by hand but DWR can’t seem to get it together now.
David Merritt, Deputy GM gave his report saying SB 100, the zero carbon by 2045 passed. There is still one nuclear plant in Arizona still running. This new law could actually help Pine Flat when FERC comes around again. KRCD has been working on a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers for two and half years. I’ve been told by reliable sources the average ACE non-military project takes more than 20-years from start to finish. Stocking the Kings River fishery starts in October.
The board adopted Resolution 18-03 to apply for grant funding for $835,000 for the NASA ASO participation. This one was a no brainer and sailed through.
Randy Shilling, Deputy GM of Business Operations gave his report. He said the budget comparison is on track. He listed the different investments KRCD is involved in. There are expectations for interest rates to start ticking up. Director Greg Beberian had reviewed the bills and recommended the board pay its bills. The board did so. That Beberian is one smooth talker.
Since closed session had already happened the meeting ended. But then the board opened another meeting – the KRCD Investment Board I think. In less than a minute the officers were reinstated and the report was approved and then the room cleared.
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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2018 by Don A. Wright
Kings River Conservation District – The Kings River Conservation District is located at 4886 E. Jensen Avenue, Fresno CA 93725
Phone 559/237-5567 and meets at 1:30 pm on the second Tuesday of the month at district headquarters.
Dr. David Cehrs – president, Paul Stanfield – vice president, Ceil Howe Jr., Mark McKean, Greg Beberian, Mike Yoshimoto and Norm Waldner.
Paul Peschel – General Manager
David Merritt – Deputy General Manager
Randy Shilling – Deputy General Manager of Business Operations
KRCD – In 1951, the State of California took steps to secure its natural resources in the San Joaquin Valley. Through special legislation, the Kings River Conservation District (KRCD) was formed. Today, KRCD is a leading resource management agency for the Kings River region serving agriculture, business and residential communities within 1.2 million acres spanning portions of Fresno, Kings and Tulare counties. The mission of KRCD is to provide flood protection, cooperate with other agencies to achieve a balanced and high quality water supply, provide on-farm support in efficient water conservation practices, and develop power resources for the public good.