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Kern County Water Agency October 26, 2017

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The Kern County Water Agency met on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at its Bakersfield headquarters. Brent Walthall spoke about the state of the California Water Fix. Since KCWA has opted to remain in the CWF mix he gave an assessment regarding the odds of the Fix staying on track. He said some of it will have to be reworked and some will probably meet deadlines. Such as matters regarding the State Board. Governor Jerry Brown has a good deal of leverage to get the State Board to fast track decisions.

The KCWA Water Resources Manager Holly Melton reported water banking started with 800,000 a/f and has risen to 1.4 million a/f. General Manager Curtis Creel reported the State Water Contractors have had a chance to move forward on how to get past the smelt situation. He has hopes the increased emphasis on science will a refreshing new approach. Craig Wallace reported on why storage at San Luis Reservoir is a little low for the state side. Wallace said the situation right now is the federal Central Valley Project is pumping as though the X2 line is 80 kilometers from the Golden Gate and the State Water Project is having to pump as if the X2 line is 72 kilometers. As will most things water this appears counter intuitive. The smaller the X2 line distance the more water is required to push the salinity closer to the Golden Gate Straight. Creel said this only the second time in 10-years there has been enough water to monkey butt around with the X2 line. The state and the feds have arrived at different numbers in the past and there have been times the feds have had to pump less to provide more sweet water to push the salt water back to see. Rob Kunde, GM Wheeler Ridge Maricopa Water Storage District praised Creel for his restraint at a recent meeting on the X2 standards. He also wanted to point out Walthall’s professionalism. Kunde said this is an indication better science is being to hold sway.            Melton said KCWA could be overstored at Lake Isabella by a few thousand acre feet. If I understood correctly she said Kern River Water Master, so I guess she was referring to Dana Munn, said it wasn’t enough to cause storage heartburn and the Army Corps of Engineers were on board as well.

The water management committee report was not given by KDWA Martin Varga because he had nothing to report. Staff also reported recharge totals for the year are very good for this time of year. The hydrographs were next and they were colorful and as far as I could tell the monitoring wells are doing well. Or the monitoring wells are doing wells. The Pioneer project is a banking facility of the KCWA. It appears to be under a perpetual emergency repair condition. It probably has something to do with the budget. Staff reported the 2018 recovery charge will be increased as will the O&M charges. But there were some decreases as well. I’m not an accountant. Which is another way of saying I didn’t do the math to see if it was a wash or not. The next item dealt with monitoring wells on the Pioneer Project. The estimated cost is $320,000. An engineering consultant is also needed for some underground pipeline. The current pipeline runs above ground and staff recommends hiring D. Jasper Inc. for $24,886 and not a penny more. The board agreed.

Dave Beard reported on the Kern Water Bank and said the KWB’s general admin budget had no increase for participants. The bank is looking at replacing aging infrastructure. A committee has been formed and will report back to the board. Melton reported four pumps are down for repairs on the Cross Valley Canal and until they are repaired capacity on the CVC has been reduced. She and Varga and others are working to identify the appropriate steps and getting the thing fixed so it won’t break down anymore.

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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.

Kern County Water Agency

The Kern County Water Agency is the State Water Contract administrators for districts within Kern County.

Board: Division 1 – Ted Page, President, Division 2 – Bruce Hafenfeld, Division 3 – Martin Milobar, Division 4 – Phillip Cerro, Division 5 – Bill Wulff, Division 6 – Royce Fast & Division 7 – Gene Lundquist.

Staff: General Manager is Curtis Creel and in-house counsel is Amelia Minaberrigaria.

KCWA 3200 Rio Mirada Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93308 Office: 661/634-1400

Board packets can be accessed on line at: username: publicuser      password: kcwa1234

Wifi in the boardroom password: h2o!Guest  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.