The Kern Water Bank Authority held its Monday, September 3, 2019 board of directors meeting at its Bakersfield headquarters. The KWB is meeting earlier than usual this month so the necessary directors’ schedules to align. I suspect it may be a permanent move. I got there earlier and harvest is underway. Everyone was in a pretty good mood. My theory is for the water folk at least, harvest means they did their jobs and they don’t have to worry about water for a couple of months. That frees them up somewhat. We talked about everything from Chinese railroads to lawnmowers; until 3:00 pm precisely when Chairman Bill Phillimore called the meeting to order for queen and country only to discover the overhead wasn’t working and we had to use our imaginations for what the slides would have looked like.

The minutes were approved and Danelle Lopez gave the treasurer’s report and the accounts payable. The board approved. The next item was the mysterious Pastorius (sp?) account. There is a trust account involved and General Manager Jon Parker said there have been changes at the top of Pastorius and things could be in motion to change the entire relationship. There was a look at the budget and it was generally agreed legal fees aren’t nearly as big a problem as budgeting for legal fees.

The board then worked on the 2018 reconciliation. This is when the members find out if they spent too much or too little on recovery fees and other expenses. Of course they like to get money back, who wouldn’t? Parker said the total redistribution is a bit over $2 million. The KWA could cut checks right away but Lopez will be out of town and it would be easier to pay it out at the October meeting. The board was OK with that. If someone owed me $2 million I’d like to get it as soon as I could.

Under reports Parker said recharge water has been slowed down so there will be some left for construction needs later. About 247,000 a/f were recharged this year. There doesn’t seem to be a feel that San Luis Reservoir will spill so there’s some time. Steve Yoder, KWB Construction Manager said the work on the bike lane has Enos Lane shut down and the roundabout on Taft Highway is only halfway finished. Parker said the bank needs a bigger, better water truck. Superintendent Nick Torres said the truck he’s looking for is compliant for non-Class A drivers. The water is needed for compaction on the construction projects and the cost is less than renting a water truck. I think the cost is about $120,000 and the board said fine, go for it.

Parker said permitting and construction are falling into line for the well replacement projects. There were some habitat credits that seem to have some problems in redundant paperwork; not uncommon in government circles. The KWB has an ornithologist survey parts of the water bank but a complete survey would take about four days. Parker advocated the habitat has been of great benefit to the bank and having a complete survey commissioned during this wet year could go a great ways towards showing the value of banking in the San Joaquin Valley. However, water levels on the bank are lower at this time of year and it might be better to wait for the survey when there is more habitat.

Parker said the Kern Groundwater Authority GSA’s plans are available on the web. He had given a presentation for the KWB’s portion of the GSP at the recent KGA meeting. By the way, have you ever heard of a TLA? Three Letter Acronym. I wish I’d made that up but I didn’t. Also the encroachment permit was acquired to fix the Strand siphons. Torres said he’ll be getting measurements for a set of plans this week. The meeting then went into closed session.

DISCLAIMER OF RESPONSIBILITY; Waterwrights strives to provide his clients with the most complete, up-to-date, and accurate information available. Nevertheless, Waterwrights does not serve as a guarantor of the accuracy or completeness of the information provided, and specifically disclaims any and all responsibility for information that is not accurate, up-to-date, or complete.  Waterwrights’ clients therefore rely on the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of information from Waterwrights entirely at their own risk. The opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not represent any advertisers or third parties.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Copyright 2019 by Don A. Wright

GENERAL MANAGER

JAMES IRRIGATION DISTRICT

(San Joaquin, CA)

Salary open DOQ. James Irrigation District is located about 30 miles southwest of the City of Fresno and is comprised of roughly 26,000 acres, of which 22,000 acres are currently irrigated. It is a public Irrigation District providing agricultural water to growers within its boundaries. The District is governed by a five-member Board of Directors elected at-large by its landowners (there are about 100 landowners and 30 growers within the District’s area). The FY 2019-20 total budget is $8.7 million, including a CIP of $830,000, with 16 staff.

A system of 65 well pumps, 26 booster pumps and 100 miles of canals and pipelines distribute irrigation water to growers’ orchards, vineyards and fields. The District has five sources of water supply: 1) a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Central Valley Project water service contract, 2) San Joaquin River Schedule 2 settlement contract, 3) Kings River water rights entitlement, 4) Kings River flood water, and 5) groundwater from District-owned wells. In addition to rights to groundwater within the District service area, the District also has a deeded groundwater right to certain lands east of the Fresno Slough Bypass. The District’s current annual water demands are approximately 65,000 acre-feet and, at this time, the District has enough water sources to meet the needs of its growers.

The General Manager also serves as Executive Director for the James Groundwater Sustainability Agency, manages Reclamation District #1606, and oversees the James Resource Conservation District.

Desire a bachelor’s degree in engineering, geology, hydrology, public/business administration or other related field, and substantial relevant work experience. An advanced degree would be a plus. Experience working with and/or knowledge about agricultural water users is important. California experience preferred.

A detailed brochure can be found at www.robertsrcg.com/18101/jidgm

Apply by September 16, 2019 (email preferred) to: Valerie Roberts or Norm Roberts, Roberts Consulting Group, phone (424) 522-2251, email robertsrcg@msn.com, web www.robertsrcg.com. EEO/ADA

KERN WATER BANK AUTHORITY

1620 Mill Rock Way, Bakersfield, CA 93311 Office: 661/398-4900 www.kwb.org

Staff: Jon Parker-General Manager, Danelle Lopez-Accountant, Steve Torigiani-Attorney, Nick Torres-Superintendent

Board: William Phillimore-Chair Westside Mutual Water Company, William Taube-Vice Chair Wheeler Ridge Maricopa Water Storage District, Steve Jackson-Treasurer Dudley Ridge Water District, Dennis Atkinson Tejon Castac Water District, David Beard KCWA Improvement District 4, Wilmar Boschman Semitropic Water Storage District & Kim Brown Westside Mutual Water Company

Located on a large, undeveloped section of the Kern River’s sandy alluvial fan, the Kern Water Bank covers nearly 30 square miles over California’s southern San Joaquin Valley. Ideally situated, both for its unique geology and its proximity to water supply and delivery systems, the Kern Water Bank plays a dual role in California’s economically vital agricultural heartland.