The Kings River Conservation District held its board of directors meeting at its Fresno headquarters on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at its Fresno headquarters. Chairman Dr. David Cehrs called the meeting to order about 1:30pm. I got there at the staff reports portion; 1:32pm. Cehrs stated the surplus water being claimed by the North Kings GSA and the James GSA in the Kings Sub Basin are paper only. That is also what the GSAs are claiming.
Ok, staff reports. General Manager Paul Peschel said he went to the ACWA Region 6&7 meeting and met with the new, incoming ACWA Executive Director and I apologize I didn’t catch the name. He also updated the board on Prop 3 and the gas tax repeal not passing and the confined animal prop passing. Strange priorities. He reported the State Board voted to delay the decision on the through Delta flows until next month. That was under political pressure from Governor Jerry Brown and Governor elect Gavin Newsom pointedly requesting the State Board to back off. Director Greg Beberian asked Peschel what ACWA’s position is on this. He reminded everyone the operations of the state’s water is supposed to be coequal goals of taking care of the environment and water users. It’s pretty apparent the word coequal can be interpreted broadly.
Director of External Affairs Cristel Tufenkjian reported the KRCD’s social media is working well. Staff and volunteers went electric fishing. They had a pretty amazing response on Facebook about the fish census event. Charlotte Gallock, Manager of Water Resources said there are several outreach meetings scheduled; at least six events over the KRCD area. She said SGMA has got the GSAs working to bring up projects to help the area’s groundwater situation. Cehrs pointed out a study of domestic wells having nitrates detected. There were lots of little nasties detected; a lot of drugs – from caffeine to horse steroids. However, the source of any of these constituents wasn’t identified. And very, very little of the pollutants could be traced back to ag. Perhaps this is a boon for folks in the Medicare prescription donut hole. I’d like to claim that for myself, but someone else said it and I’m not telling who. Director Mark McKean said a researcher at UC Davis, Tom Harter came up with a report stating nitrates in groundwater are caused by ag. That resulted in this rash of regulations and blaming farmers for a problem that hasn’t happened yet. Director Ceil Howe said much of the review of Harter’s report were very critical of his methods and this needs to be revisited.
David Merritt, Deputy GM showed a video of something that wouldn’t play so he gave a maintenance and construction update first. KRCD is building a big, 500 cfs canal out in the McMullin Grade area. It’s called the Terra Nova Project. There’s another 400 cfs canal project as well. The facilities will convey Kings River flood flows. Merritt expects to complete this project in the first or second week of next January. This is still a jack and bore under Highway 145 to complete the project.
There is a section on the Kings River that has levees and one blew out. The feds came to the rescue and the Army Corps of Engineers set up a trailer office surrounded by a chain link fence. They also found what may be the pawprint of a kit fox (or feral house cat.) The Corps put up more chain link fencing around the pawprint. Then they put in a coffer dam and started arguing for a few hours where the actual center of the levee is. Merritt said KRCD has been releasing fish on the Kings River and they have been much better fishing than when F&G was stocking. The meeting then went into closed session.
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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.