The Greater Kaweah Groundwater Sustainability Agency’s board of directors meeting was held on Monday, August 14, 2017 at the Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District headquarters in Farmersville. There was also a Tulare County water commission meeting this afternoon at 3:00pm so it will hopefully be a fast-paced meeting. Especially since I have to leave early to get to the Kern Water Bank meeting later today in Bakersfield. The Kern meeting is almost always the fastest moving meeting of the month. So these guys will have to get it in gear. What a two edged sword. I need fast meetings but they’re hard to type.
Chairman Don Mills was accommodating, gaveling in the meeting at 1:00pm and he didn’t even have a gavel. There were no public comments but under announcements Secretary Mark Larsen announced he lost his agenda. His notes were written on it. A lady from California Water Service announced Greg Milleman will be serving a different function in the company and no longer on this board. Larsen said many of the GKGSA’s committees are moving forward but he suggested a one month delay for calling a meeting of the Rural Communities and Stakeholder Committees as the other committees develop the necessary material to keep them busy for some time.
Engineer Dennis Mills reported on the recent GKGSA technical committee where having the engineering/consulting firm GEI take on the coordination duties. Tim Nicely, a hydrologist with the firm GSI is working with the GEI team and not having Nicely on board would be a deal breaker. Larsen said the Greater Kaweah GSA is now, according to DWR, the exclusive GSA for this part of the Kaweah sub basin. The Mid Kaweah GSA is exclusive and the East Kaweah GSA is expected to soon hold the same honors.
Larsen then briefed the board that the SGMA 2014 does not mention measurable objectives, minimum thresholds and sustainability indicators. The flesh of this has been written by California’s Department of Water Resources. The GSP regulations listed the familiar six undesirable results. For each of the sustainability indicators a minimum threshold is needed to avoid undesirable results. Larsen said about the only way to do this is quantitively. Therein comes the measurable objectives. These are the mathematical parameters. Mike McGuinness from DWR was in attendance and he said the Kaweah sub basin is in critical overdraft. But, McGuinness continued and said DWR has no plans to increase the required goals. In my mind DWR has received a good deal of criticism for the flawed legislation. But it does have to serve the public even if the elected officials in Sacramento don’t. In any event Larsen said his hope is since the 20-year sustainability period may have some instances where the goals will be exceeded and missed DWR will work with reasoned flexibility.
Engineer Richard Schafer asked McGuinness* if residual overdraft occurs will the hammer fall. McGuinness told Mr. Schafer no, DWR understands this is new territory. McGuinness said the five-year implementation allows for adjusting the efforts. He expects it will be quite common. Larsen said a good GSP will have a backup plan in case a milestone isn’t reached. That was all I had time for today.
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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2017 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.
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. *Please understand I’m paraphrasing Mr. McGuinness’ statements. I don’t want any scary regulators coming after him.
Greater Kaweah GSA JPA – Chair Don Mills-Lakeside ID, Vice Chair Chris Tantau-Kaweah Delta WCD, Pete Vander Poel-County of Tulare, Ernie Taylor-Kings County WD, Greg Milleman-Cal Water Service, Eric Shannon-St Johns WD, Paul Boyer-Rural Communities Committee, Yet to be decided Stakeholder Committee representative.
Mark Larsen-Secretary, Aubrey Mauritson-Legal Counsel
Offices shared with the Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District, 2975 Farmersville Blvd., Farmersville, CA 93223 Tel. 559/747-5601