The Kern Groundwater Authority Groundwater Sustainability Agency held its Wednesday, March 23, 2022 board meeting in person from Bakersfield and online with Zoom. Chairman Dan Waterhouse called the meeting to order at 8:00am. There was a quorum and the resolution allowing a remote meeting was passed. There was a flag salute and I didn’t hear any public comment.
The minutes were approved and Marinelle Duarosan gave the treasurer’s report. It was approved. Executive Officer Patty Poire said GEI Engineering is in agreement with submitting certain invoices directly to DWR for the data management system. That’s a half a million dollar lift so good for them. It will help KGA’s cash flow to not have to cough up that chunk of change.
Attorney Valarie Kincade spoke about getting the annual report, due April Fools Day, out in time so noticing requirements are met. Also, the other big, heavy lift of GSP review is ongoing. She said the State Board has sent out tens of thousands of curtailment letters due to the drought. Allocations on both the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project have been cut. She said there is a reoccurring pattern when droughts hit ag takes a much bigger cut than other industries. For every exemption given someone else has to make up for it. At least storage is no longer a taboo subject. Kincade said the State Board members are beginning to understand the impact their decisions have on SGMA. I’ve often wondered how loud the howling in Sacramento would be if other industries had to cut back water usage to the same degree as ag during droughts.
Ex O Report
Next Poire talked about the April First annual report. She said in the past the draft wasn’t available until after it was submitted. But they are getting better and Todd Groundwater has been very helpful in compiling the needed data. Right in the middle of that there was a notice that said Tom Snowden of Aera Energy had taken control of the meeting and the audio went out. I’m pretty sure that was as big a surprise to Tom as it was to us.
In a few minutes Poire came back and got us caught up on the annual report, report. She said a couple of the highlights include the CV Sims model is being used. The accuracy of this model varies by as much as 20 percent. She said the inclusion of the Land IQ system is going to add a tremendous boost to accuracy. She said this year’s report indicated much less water use, about 200,000 a/f but they don’t know why. There is a Kern Subbasin study ongoing and teamed up with Land IQ she believes this type of question will be much easier to answer in the future. She also said the report includes information that shows DWR the progress being made in addressing SGMA compliance. The board accepted her report.
Next Poire spoke about the need for an additional well for the Eastside Management Area. This will be a monitoring well to be added to the monitoring network. All the GSAs in the Kern Subbasin have to agree to this. The KGAGSA agreed.
Poire said the GSP review will include a meeting this week with DWR to get it over the hump. She said she believes the Kern Subbasin is looking good for a big grant from DWR that will fund the Land IQ addition, the monitoring well and the subbasin study. She noted DWR said they liked the way the grant showed how KGA’s project built on each other. Waterhouse congratulated her for the likely grant award.
There was no new business or correspondence. Waterhouse said the meeting will go into closed session at 8:38am. That is all.
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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, Marinelle Duarosan – Treasurer
The Kern Groundwater Authority membership:
Chairman: Dan Waterhouse.
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