The Kern Water Bank Authority met on Monday, September 11, 2017 at its Bakersfield headquarters. Before we go any further let us never forget those lives lost on this date. OK, I’ve got that out of my system. There’s a comedy radio station in Bakersfield and I heard something I tried at home. My wife and I were fixing to go to sleep and I rolled over and told her, “Somebody told me you remind them of an owl.” She said, “Who?”
Chairman Bill Phillimore called the meeting to order at 3:00pm by running Wheeler Ridge-Maricopa Water Storage District General Manager Rob Kunde out of the room for taking cookies without asking. I think, I don’t know I wasn’t sure. But anyway, the minutes were approved and Danelle Scott gave the treasurer’s report. It was a happy report because the revenue was over budget. But of course that could also mean something wasn’t being addressed allowing money to pile up. KWB General Manager Jon Parker explained how the accounting was performed and everyone seemed satisfied. Always good to hear when something unexpected goes right. While still on a roll Scott presented the board with its bills and they voted to pay up.
Next was the general/administrative budget for 2018. Parker said the material the board was given was for their review and no action was required today. He said Attorney Ernest Conant has promised him the legal expenses will go down this year. Conant didn’t remember it that way. The directors will look over the regular sized print spread sheet. Steve Jackson, Dudley Ridge WD thanked staff on behalf of everyone who gets an 11×17 Excel report miniaturized down to an almost unreadable 8 ½ x 11 shrunken head sheet. Energy costs are going up and Semitropic WSD’s Will Boschman said there was some talk about KWB becoming its own utility but it sounded like if it did so there could be the real possibility KWB would have to service all the road signs and lighting along I-5. Maybe solar is the way to go.
Parker next gave his report and said recharge rates are flat lining and that’s a good thing as opposed to declining. There was a storm with wind that blew through recently and caused some damage to the power system but things are coming back to normal. Superintendent Nick Torres said repairs are going good and things should be back on line by the end of the line. Some of the bonds to the north and the southeast are in a good position to take on more recharge. The hydrographs show the deeper portions of the bank are getting wet and the water isn’t just pooling towards the surface.
Under maintenance Parker said Westside Mosquito told the mosquito fish are doing great at keeping the mosquito population down. Ebola Lane, I mean Enos Lane appears to be the east/west boundary for mosquito matters in Kern County. Minor berm repairs are ongoing. Eight pond turnouts have failed with five completely out of commission and three limping along on temporary repairs. Our old friend the bike path should have a neg-dec coming from Kern County pretty soon. This could allow an amendment that in turn allows for the expansion of habitat area owned by the KWB.
Capital projects include well replacement and rehabilitation. The Integrated Regional Water Management Plan has three replacement wells and two ponds. Chevron removed some pipe and found out there was no contamination. There are only 22 head of cattle on the entire water bank. There was a sale of habitat credits to one of the oil companies that brought in a good chunk of change. Parker said there is an outfit that wants to put up some artistic signage along I-5. The Water Association of Kern County is sponsoring this. As long as the signage doesn’t impact the habitat the board was OK. The next Kern Groundwater Authority meeting is taking place towards the end of September.
That was about all except Phillimore wouldn’t commit to any position on Britain leaving the European Union. It was going to be my big close for this report.
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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 WATER BANK AUTHORITY
1620 Mill Rock Way, Bakersfield, CA 93311 Office: 661/398-4900 www.kwb.org
Staff: Jon Parker-General Manager, Danelle Scott-Accountant, Ernest Conant-Attorney, Nick Torres-Superintendent
Board: William Phillimore-Chair Westside Mutual Water Company, William Taube-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 & Scott Hamilton 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.