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Buena Vista Water Storage District January 17, 2018

The Buena Vista Water Storage District’s board of directors met on Wednesday January 17, 2018 at its Buttonwillow headquarters. I thought it was going to be a foggy drive so I got up before everyone else went to bed but it was pretty clear this morning. So, I got here early. To my amazement, as I write this it is 22 degrees at my place near Lafayette, Louisiana and it is snowing. Director Jeof Wyrick is with Boswell and he was telling us about how they have a helicopter to herd cattle. I said I can’t imagine that. I had enough trouble with two dogs and a horse. I asked him how you do that and Judge James Ardiz was in the room. He said, “First you get a helicopter.” Ardiz said he may have met the least literate person on earth when it comes to agriculture. He said he has sheep skin covers on his BWM seats and a gal asked him if it hurt much when they took the fleese. He told her only if the zipper gets stuck.  

Chairman John Vidovich called the meeting to order at 8:30 am. Things were a bit confusing at first as there were two different agendas. But with a bit of common sense the minutes were approved. Public statements were next and there were none. The consent calendar had two items pulled by Director Terry Chicca and both dealt with construction projects. Director John Cauzza pulled two water related items.

The financial reports were given and the treasury is sound. The directors approved. The board was asked to approve a resolution to call M&O assessments. That also means O&M and it passed. General Manager Tim Ashlock announced Andrew Bell has passed the licensed professional engineer test and that’s something to be proud of.

Vidovich and Director Larry Ritchie stepped out of the room while the board discussed installing a culvert in Eighty Foot Canal at Snow Road. This directly involves property of Sandridge Farms. It was ultimately tabled for now.

Next the board was asked to adopt an annual resolution to prepare the way for BVWSD to receive federal 215 Water from the Central Valley Project and they did so. Ashlock said BV has some water in Lake Isabella and San Luis Reservoir, I think a total of around 50,000 a/f in surface storage. Bell said the snow pack on the Kern River watershed is below last year. There are other sources of water from banking to exchanges. The northern portion of the district has pipes but the southern portion doesn’t. Vidovich suggested paying the southern landowners to equalize the benefits of an early run. I heard no objections to that idea. There will be more about this in closed session under water sales.

The board considered an allocation and coordinated irrigation run for a pre-irrigation run. I thought Ashlock said a 2/10th run. Did he mean a 1/5th run? Is this per acre or a portion of the overall allocation? One grower objected to pulling an entitlement and having to pay extra. Vidovich said some of this was predicated on the committee taking into account there may not be a summer run this year. He said the district has a good banked supply. If the district uses that then it can sell some of its SWP supplies. The banking takes place in the south and the north has pipes to convey the water. Cauzza said the money invested in the northern pipelines was shared by the entire district. He thinks there should be a run and sells. In any event the 2/10th will go for $60 per a/f or $12 per 10th of a foot. There will be more about this in closed session. The brackish groundwater recovery project has some yield suitable for selling. Ashlock said the needed infrastructure for conveyance should be ready by this summer. Vidovich suggested an uneven exchange with Semitropic WSD. Wyrick asked how bad the water is and it’s 2,500 TDS. Staff was directed to sell it.

Cauzza asked where the East Extension to the Northern Pipeline. Ashlock said NEPA is waiting to wrap up as there are federal grant funds involved. He said he hopes to start at the first of March. Also, the project is $200,000 more than budgeted because although the cost of resin for plastic pipes has dropped in price the backlog of available pipe is keeping prices up. The board voted to go ahead buy the pipe. The Palms East recharge project will require moving 20,000 cubic yards. The cost is about $1.25 per yard.

There was nothing under directors’ forum and the meeting when into closed session.

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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Copyright 2018 by Don A. Wright   No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of DAW.

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, Attorney: Robert Hartsock. Board-President: John Vidovich, VP: Terry Chicca, Secretary: Jeof Wyrick, John Cauzza, Larry Ritchie

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