The Kern Water Bank Authority held its Tuesday, February 2, 2021 board of directors meeting remotely on Microsnot Teams. I don’t like Microsoftspot because it doesn’t have chat and I’m concerned Bill Gates hasn’t had my best interest at heart since Windows Seven. In fact, and this is a true story, back in the 1990s I read somewhere is you go on Excel to space number and column letter – I don’t recall what it was – some place way out there like 25,000/ZZZZ you would open a kind of game where you walked down a narrow sidewalk with a bottomless pit on both sides. The further you got the tougher it was to not fall in. At the end of the sidewalk was Bill Gates sitting on a thrown dressed like the Pope. I never made it far enough to get to Gates. That is a true story. Also, not even all the directors were able to attend today’s meeting on MS Teams. But I don’t pay the KWB’s bills so they can do whatever they like in selecting remote formats.
The Meeting Begins
It was commented that the meeting was late in starting – 3:05pm. It wasn’t long before Chairman Bill Phillimore did get things rolling and while acknowledging he was late he said he was seriously thinking about throwing his computer out the window. I call that techno impotency rage and I also suffer from it now and then. It’s common in men Bill and I’s age and nothing to be ashamed of. Anyway the minutes were approved without corrections.
Treasurer Danelle Lopez gave the financial statements and reports and such. She also said the auditors will be in the office by late March but not to expect an April draft. That will be completed in May. I don’t know why it’s taking a little longer than usual. Her report was accepted and Lopez also talked the board into paying the KWB bills.
Even though the KWB isn’t a Central Valley Project contractor its plumbing does hook it up to federal facilities by way of the Friant Kern Canal. For that reason it had to pass a resolution in order for it to be eligible for 215 Water from the Friant Kern Canal. It could and does happen if things get wet enough. The resolution was passed.
General Manager Jon Parker told the board water levels are dropping due to recovery in the bank. Parker pointed out the new hydrographs are formatted to line up with the DWR SGMA practice of showing depth to groundwater instead of water level.
Superintendent Nick Torres gave his report saying new recharge construction is complete. The KWB Canal work had perfect timing. The needed repairs and refurbishing ended before there was any interruption of flows. Phillimore praised Torres and staff for achieving a great deal of work and urged the other directors to take a look at the progress. Director Jason Gianquinto, Semitropic WSD agreed. More than 52 basin structures have been replaced. There are 10 road and pipe crossing and six of those have been completed. Parker said well drilling prices dipped for a while and KWB took advantage of the lower costs and had at least six wells replaced.
Parker said it is seldom the KWB Canal is dewatered and Torres found some issues to deal with. Traveling trash screen, new Waterman Gates, a bypass actuator and other tasks were completed.
My favorite part of the report is the cattle grazing map. There are probably 600 head or more out there on the bank. I didn’t catch the cattleman’s name but he died and his son has taken over. Prayers.
The Kern Fan Monitoring committee did meet and the budget was approved. Kern County Water Agency’s Dave Beard is now the chair. At the Kern Groundwater Authority meeting GEI was selected as the data monitor provider. Director Kim Brown confirmed that happened. Parker said he hopes that GEI system can adapt to the Kern Fan Monitoring also. Phillimore asked what GEI is doing to earn its keep. Parker said the system will collect and store data for public use under SGMA. It could be a good tool sometime in the future as a source for KWB data needs. Parker said the engineering committee hasn’t met this month but will.
Phillimore asked attorney Steve Torigiani about KWB’s right of way across the Pioneer Project. Parker said he’s called the KCWA about a strip of land KWB owns through the property in question but he hasn’t heard back. Torigiani was asked to send a letter (I’m sure it’s really more of a gentle reminder) to KCWA about the matter.
The Meeting Ends
There wasn’t any old or new business and during public comment I tried to tell them how much I appreciated the meeting being only slightly more than a half hour long but I guess I either didn’t get unmuted or they ignored me. Hard to tell sometimes. The meeting then went into closed session and that was that.
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KERN WATER BANK AUTHORITY
1620 Mill Rock Way, Bakersfield, CA 93311 Office: 661/398-4900 www.kwb.org
Staff: Jon Parker-General Manager, Danelle Lopez-Accountant, Steve Torigiani-Attorney, Nick Torres-Superintendent
Board: William Phillimore-Chair Westside Mutual Water Company, Sheridan Nicholas-Vice Chair Wheeler Ridge Maricopa Water Storage District, Steve Jackson-Treasurer Dudley Ridge Water District, Dennis Atkinson Tejon Castac Water District, David Beard KCWA Improvement District 4, Wilmar Boschman Semitropic Water Storage District & Kim Brown Westside Mutual Water Company
Located on a large, undeveloped section of the Kern River’s sandy alluvial fan, the Kern Water Bank covers nearly 30 square miles over California’s southern San Joaquin Valley. Ideally situated, both for its unique geology and its proximity to water supply and delivery systems, the Kern Water Bank plays a dual role in California’s economically vital agricultural heartland.