The Buena Vista Water Storage District’s board of directors met on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at its Buttonwillow headquarters. Before the meeting began i learned the big attraction to Buttonwillow, for farmers anyway, is soil. Buttonwillow was previously a swamp where the overflow from Buena Vista Lake. The top soil is a a rich, dark silt four or five feet deep overlaying sand. If you come into town from the north there is a buttonwillow tree on the side of the road with a monument and plaque. I forget just what the plaque says but it commemorates the tree after which the town is named and states this was the site of a great rodeo. Chairman John Vidovich uncharacteristically called the meeting late at 8:32am instead of 8:30am. The consent calendar passed, the financial report was short. Controller Marybeth Brooks said the cash flow is a bit low but water sales should help.

There is a Southern Drain in the district that required Vidovich and Director Julien Parsons to recuse themselves but the rest of the board agreed to move some dirt and fill in some stretches of canal if I understood correctly. The board also approved payment of the Isabella Repairs costs.

     BVWSD Engineer Andrew Bell gave the water report said supplies in the Kern River watershed looks good. He recommended allocating 1.7 a/f per acre to growers. The run currently is take all you can get. Vidovich said declaring an allocation would discourage surface water use and may well incentivize pumping. There was a bit of discussion but the board agreed.

The next item was a Kern County Water Agency update and General Manager Tim Ashlock said there is a contract extension due by May 28th so this doesn’t have to be finalized until next month’s meeting. DWR is working with KCWA on the contract and won’t wrap that up until next week. It involves bonding and other funding arrangements as well as some provisions dealing with Oroville. Director Jeoff Wyrick said other KCWA member districts are holding off until more information comes from Sacramento. Attorney Isaac St. Lawrence said holding off would give the district better leverage in dealing with Cal Water Fix. Wyrick said he’d hold off and Vidovich said he’d go for it right now to show leadership. The vote was four to one in favor of approving. There may be more discussion in closed session on this topic.

The next item was SGMA. Buena Vista has its own GSA. The BVGSA has been asked to join 11 other GSAs in a coordination agreement. There are five GSPs between all the GSAs in the Kern Sub Basin that need to be coordinated. This is a nine-page document and the board agreed to talk it over in closed session. The meeting then went into closed session. Next month the board meeting will be in Buttonwillow but the time isn’t nailed down yet.

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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2019 by Don A. Wright

Buena Vista Water Storage District was organized in 1924 to manage the irrigation, drainage systems and water rights originally held by Miller & Lux. The district controls an average 130,000 a/f of Kern River water and approximately 21,000 a/f of supplies from the State Water Project. BVWSD is its own GSA. Board of Directors meetings are held the 3rd Wednesday of the month at district headquarters located at: 525 North Main Street, Buttonwillow, CA 93206. Phone: 661/324-1101 www.bvh20.com  General Manager/Engineer: Tim Ashlock, Engineer Andrew Bell, Controller: Marybeth Brooks, Attorney: Robert Hartsock or Isaac St. Lawrence

Board-President: John Vidovich, VP: Terry Chicca, Secretary: Jeof Wyrick, Julien Parsons, Larry Ritchie