The North Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency held its board of directors meeting at Fresno Irrigation District headquarters in Fresno on Thursday, October 24, 2019. Before we get to the meeting report I have a question for you. Have you noticed truck drivers on Highway 99 being a little too lose lately? I drive that highway a lot and it’s getting very crowed, especially the four lane sections in Tulare and Madera Counties. But even in the six lane parts I’m experiencing semis in the fast lane. It’s one thing on the two lane when a truck pulls into the fast lane and speeds up to 63 mph to pass the other truck in the slow lane doing 61 mph; but when a big rig gets in the far left of a third lane and speeds up to 66 it gets weird. At least in California. There are very long stretches across West Texas where the speed limit is 80 mph and the trucks all go the same speed; so watch out. But on 99 it just seems rude to have a slow truck in the fast lane. Not to mention the auto doing 65 mph in the fast lane and keeping even with a car in the middle lane so you can’t pass. I don’t care what the posted limit is – you best be passing if you’re in the fast lane. Ok I feel better now, back to the actual report.
The GSP deadline is quickly approaching and the number of folks in attendance is rising. Not quite standing room only but well attended. Chairman Jerry Prieto called the meeting at 6pm and we saluted the flag.
New Executive Officer
The first item was appointing Kassy Chauhan as the new NKGSA Executive Officer, kind of. Current XO Gary Serrato doesn’t officially retire until February 1st next year. In the meantime Chauhan will do most of the work, I don’t know for sure. She is actually an employee of FID on permanent loan to the GSA and has duties to both entities. I think I’ve got that right. I do know she was formerly with the State Water Resource Control Board and comes highly regarded for her ability to deal with the complexity of SGMA, manage a GSA and remain pleasant and polite. If you think I’m being facetious try it some time.
Minutes, Committees & Financials
FID engineer Adam Claes gave the Technical Subcommittee report saying the board will be presented the completed GSP at November 21st meeting for adoption. Comments on the public draft have closed and it’s time to craft the comment responses. There were 150 comments received from 20 or more folks. The Tech Committee is also developing impact analysis on wells.
Brandy Swisher gave the Membership/Outreach/Communications Subcommittee updates. There have bene outreach events all over the GSA. The media has been involved and interviews racked up. There was some heartburn from the NGOs about continued grant funding but that is a grant deal not a GSA deal. Serrato said there has also been some confusion between SGMA and the Irritated Lands Program. Hopefully the referrals will sort this out.
There was no legal report.
Deanne Hailey gave the financial report saying the use of FID staff to help review the GSP has caused that account to go up a bit higher but not so much the board didn’t approved the accounts payable. She reported all the dues are current, so good for them. All the other financial statements including the audited statements were also approved. Good news, the actual auditor was out of town and there fore unable to give a long-drawn out oral report. Hailey summarized and as far as I can tell the audit was just fine. She took a little long but she is a CPA and spoke English clearly which always helps. The board approved the audit. The last item was a resolution to name signers to the NKGSA bank accounts. Originally the board, the XO and Hailey had signatory privilege. Hailey could only get info and couldn’t sign checks. Chauhan and Clovis Public Utilities Director Scott Redelfs were added.
Next, Chauhan gave her first XO or pending XO address to the board saying the current ACWA JPIA insurance covers GSAs and GSP development. However, the GSP implementation isn’t covered. That will require the ACWA JPIA to come up with GSP implementation insurance as well as the NKGSA will have to join ACWA. This is not limited to North Kings, all the GSAs will be looking at this problem. The insurance requirements SGMA created weren’t covered in the law. She has reviewed or is reviewing all the GSPs in the King Sub Basin and comment on them. So far they’ve the North Fork Kings GSA and the McMullin Area GSA completed. I don’t recall the exact works Chauhan used to describe reading the GSPs, “not dull” or “exciting” but i think we could all make a reasonable guess.
Under director reports Director Karl Kienow of Garfield WD said he heard from Chauhan and Claes at a seminar and praised them. Prieto reported he will be having surgery on his neck and may be out. Director Brian Pacheco will be running things and of course we pray Director Prieto heals quickly. The meeting then went into closed session.
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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2019 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.
NKGSA MEMBERS: Bakman Water Company, Cities of Kerman, Fresno and Clovis, Fresno County, Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District, Garfield Water District and Fresno ID