The Kern Groundwater Authority Groundwater Sustainability Agency held its Wednesday, April 22, 2020 board meeting by phone from Bakersfield. Before we begin it’s April 22nd – somehow or other this became Earth Day. I’m seeing Happy Earth Day a lot, or at least I’m noticing it more this year. If this is a day to celebrate God’s creation and His sovereignty over it then by all means – Happy Earth Day. If however this is just more neo-pagan, tree hugging . . . we get enough emotion over science in the water world for 364 days a year. I see no need to celebrate more.
The meeting was scheduled to begin at 8:00am and teleconference system being used automatically announced when someone joined or left and that cut off the audio and KGA Chairman Jason Selvidge and Executive Director Patty Poire’s audio, or anyone’s audio. Selvidge began by saying it should be a short meeting but was cut off by new callers being automatically announced. Thankfully the interruptions slowed down as the meeting went along. This meeting was primarily to get together and pay the bills evidently.
Director Kevin Andrews made the motion to accept the minutes. It was decided if the vote was unanimous that would stand, but if the vote was split by even one a roll call would be required. The minutes were approved unanimously.
The financial reports were next and I believe it was Marinelle Duarosan of North Kern Water Storage District gave the reports. There wasn’t a March meeting so she gave both February and March’s reports for separate votes. The board agreed to pay its bills in two separate votes.
Attorney Valerie Kincaid has no report but Poire did. She asked the board to accept the 2019 audit proposal from the same firm that has been conducting the KGA audits – Barbich, Hooper & King. This did not go out for bid but it is the same firm that conducts North Kern’s audits. It will also be conducted remotely due to the virus. The board approved.
Poire said KGA has received a $37,000 Prop One grant check refund. As one would expect the board approved dispersing the funds. Poire said the member’s management have all had time to review the amounts and no one had any heartburn with things. Most of this money went to GSP consultants if I read the agenda item from the packet correctly.
Poire also reported the first annual* review sent to DWR made the deadline. She also went over her forward work-plan and accomplishments report. The KGA managers met with DWR to discuss the subsidence on the California Aqueduct.
Selvidge said the virus has brought about unusual times. He mentioned Director Jim Regan of SMUD passed away, not from Coronavirus and Brandon Morris will be taking that seat. There was no closed session items so that was that.
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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.
Staff: Patty Poire – Executive Director, Valerie Kincade – Attorney
The Kern Groundwater Authority membership:
Arvin-Edison Water Storage District, Cawelo Water District, City of Shafter, Kern County Water Agency, Kern-Tulare Water District, Kern Water Bank Authority, North Kern Water Storage District, Olcese Water District, Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District, Semitropic Water Storage District, Shafter-Wasco Irrigation District, Southern San Joaquin Municipal Utility District, Tejon-Castaic Water District, West Kern Water District, Westside District Water Authority & Wheeler Ridge-Maricopa Water Storage District
DWR Listing: Basin San Joaquin, Sub Basin Kern 5-022.14