The Kings River Water District held its board of directors meeting on Thursday, February 21, 2019 in Centerville. Chairman Jack Paxton opened the meeting at 8:00am. All the housekeeping items were passed. There was an addition to the agenda because of a lastminute need. This is permissible under the Brown Act. Those of you who read yesterday’s Buena Vista Water Storage District report may have noticed I had to pad the opening paragraph because the meeting was so short I couldn’t fill up a single page. I have a similar situation here but for a very different reason. I was late and missed some good conversation and information. Of all the meetings I attend KRWD is the second closest and only takes a few minutes to get to from my home. So why be late? Caltrans has ripped the guts out of Highway 180 (also known as Kings Canyon Avenue) through Centerville. The offices are north of a canal but all the bridges have been closed or torn down as they reroute 180. The detour is almost as far down the road as Menkler and even then I drove around for quite some time on roads I hadn’t seen before. There are some nice estates along the north side of the Kings River and some poor country folk as well.
Under administrative matters the mileage reimbursement to the employees was in need of changing. That took some wrangling. Superintendent Mike Sullivan reported KRWD’s storage at Pine Flat is full and they’re doing maintenance between rain storms. They are having a difficult time renting a big chipper. Paxton said there may have to be a flood release and asked if anyone was planning on irrigating. Fresno Irrigation District is starting deliveries March 1st; I heard attorney Lauren Layne say. Consolidated ID has some good storage basins. The way water is allocated from Pine Flat Lake is complicated – like so many things in the water world. Who gets how much is figured out by the Kings River Water Association’s Blue Book.
Paxton said PG&E may not be able to pay up on some of its debt to the KRWA due to its bankruptcy filing. Layne said PG&E finds the Kings River facilities important and therefore this area of the world is safer from bounced checks. Much of KRWD’s operating budget comes from an agreement with PG&E for power sales. She also said the Regional Board is getting frisky about recharge due to arsenic and such. They don’t want it perched into the groundwater although it occurs naturally in the soil. Paxton said the State Board is taking on more and more duties and will have to raise its rates. Layne reported the water tax is back and in Governor Gavin Newsom’s budget. It is supposed to raise money for helping clear up water quality. ACWA is opposed unless this money is placed in a trust. As it turns out Felicia Marcus was not reappointed to the State Board and Laurel Firestone has taken her place. I did not know this until right now. Firestone was co-boss of the Community Water Center an NGO headquartered in Visalia. She will no longer be able to continue at that capacity. Firestone is known to be very passionate about water quality. There is also a story about one of the committee chairs in Sacramento who is trying to get even with agriculture because one of the commodity groups supported a Republican who ran against him. He’s trying to repeal as many provisions beneficial to ag as possible. I’m sorry I don’t know his name or what committee he’s on, part of the negatives from arriving late. If you know anything about this contact me.
General Manager/Engineer Nick Keller reported he was on the call from the US Bureau of Reclamation as they announced preliminary allocations. He reported Friant wasn’t declared yet. The Bureau has an uncontrolled season as 150,000 a/f has to be emptied from Millerton to make flood space. He said the Friant Class I is going to be 100 percent but the Class II allocation is still open. There’s limited flow at the Kings River siphon, the Yokel Creek siphon and of course the subsidence kink in southern Tulare County. South of the Delta CVP allocations are 35 percent and this has fired up a lot of folks. Keller advised patience as this is still February. San Luis Reservoir is full. Keller said there are subsidence problems along the California Aqueduct but it looks like Article 21 Water for the State Project. That was that.
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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2019 by Don A. Wright
Kings River Water District
The Kings River Water District meets at 8:00am on the third Thursday of the month at the Gerawan Farms Offices on Smith Avenue in Centerville California. KRWD is a member of the East Kings GSA and receives supplies from the Kings River. President Jack Paxton, Curtis Taylor, Danny Van Ruiten, Steve Boos & Mike Hacker.
General Manager/Engineer Nick Keller, Attorney Loraine Layne, Superintendent Mike Sullivan, Ditch Tender Ken Domoto. KRWD has about 19,000 acres of tree fruit, grapes and nuts along the Kings River bottom land on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley.