The North Kings GSA Advisory Committee met on Friday, September 14, 2018 at the Clovis Police Department conference room. Vice-Chairman and soon to be Fresno Irrigation District General Manager Bill Stretch called the meeting at 1:30pm. Chairman and Clovis City Manager Luke Serpa was at some league of cities type meeting.
Ron Samuelian gave a review of the GSP and where the NKGSA is at. Of the seven parts the easy stuff is finished according to Samuelian. The focus currently is the Sustainable Management Criteria. Finding the right monitoring wells is a challenge for every GSA but in this case there is some hope in that there’s a plethora of known wells. What are the measurable objectives? How low can the water table go and what is the minimum threshold? One well, in west central Fresno has a minimum threshold of 155 feet above sea level. The Measurable objective is 165 feet above sea level. Why not how deep down the well before hitting water? Using sea level provides a uniform baseline as opposed to the ground level which varies from location to location. The minimum threshold and measurable objective is unique to each well sight. There are about 350 wells identified at this time.
Samuelian continue saying the water budget should be complete by the end of the year. That’s how much water comes into the sub basin, how much leaves and how this happens. There is also a request to modify the sub basin boundaries. FID engineer Adam Claes reported the DWR Bulletin 118 boundaries were not always established on science. There are some areas to the northeastern most portion of the Kings Sub Basin within NKGSA that are actually rock fissure and not alluvial aquafers. The NK wants them out.
Under basin coordination Samuelian reported the coordination agreement framework is coming along. The seven GSAs within the Kings Sub Basin have agreed to change the base period which revises some numbers. A data management system that will allow communication with the state is being patterned after the one being used by Central California ID. The water budget is moving along and the SMC is being determined. As Samuelian said, bald sees bald. He and I and Stretch to some degree share the same lack of haircut.
Brandy Swisher, Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District is the new communications honcho and she reported good growth. Sarge Green with Fresno State University has helped enlist students in helping with outreach and incorporating SGMA into other educational disciplines. Sue Ruiz of Self Help Enterprises said there is a goal of getting every FSU grad aware of the water situation in California. The website is www.nkgsa.org. So go look at it. Former Fresno County Supervisor Phil Larsen said he gets questions about SGMA – can it tell a grower how much to pump? Will there be a meter on my well? Will there be restrictions of land use? He said there is a good job being done with outreach overall but there is more to do. It was mentioned that the Gov His-self Jerry Brown has signed legislation to further confuse matters and corporate ecologists have taken over most of the state water agencies. Stretch said FID is building four new recharge sites. So are Clovis and Fresno. Bernard Jimenez, County of Fresno said the economic impacts of SGMA could be very harmful. He suggested a regional study. Samuelian said the Kern Sub Basin has hired an economist and Stretch said he’ll pass this on to the coordination committee. He thinks there might be some money in the upcoming Prop 3 bond. Stretch also spoke about the subsidence on the Friant Kern Canal. A lady in attendance asked about how to be sure the area gets its share of flood water for recharge. Stretch said recharge from flood waters is a historical practice and doesn’t require a permit. He’d, and rightly so I believe, hate to see that change since it works. Samuelian said the Kings River is fully appropriated and its water rights holders are always ready to defend themselves.
The next item was a matter of succession. The NKGSA’s current Executive Officer Gary Serrato is also GM of FID and is retiring at the end of this year. His position needs to be filled. Stretch will takeover FID but not the Executive Officer position. It’s going to be a fulltime gig. Serpa would like to step down as chair of the advisory committee now that he is the fulltime city manager. Scott Redelfs, Clovis’ public utilities director is willing to take Serpa’s place as chair. Same thing with Stretch. He’s chair of the technical committee but he needs to get his gig at FID in gear so Claes may be taking that slot.
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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2018 by Don A. Wright
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.
MEMBERS: Bakman Water Company, Cities of Kerman, Fresno and Clovis, Fresno County, Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District, Garfield Water District and Fresno ID