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Kings River East GSA August 17, 2017

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The Kings River East Groundwater Sustainability Agency met at the City of Dinuba Council Chambers on Thursday, August 17, 2017. Dinuba is located in the Alta Irrigation District and there lies the reason Alta’s General Manager Chad Wegley is so involved in the KREGSA. Wegley is the adult supervision in the room. Chairman and Tulare County Supervisor Steve Worthley started things off at 2:00pm. We all saluted the flag and determined there were no conflicts of interest. There was no public comment, additions or deletions to the agenda and the minutes were approved.

Director Loren Booth represents irrigation and water districts. She pointed out there is no one on the board directly in charge of reviewing the bills. The KREGSA is growing up and has come to the point where it can’t just borrow from Alta ID without good reason. Wegley said there are couple of grants coming up; one from Tulare County and one from Prop One for the entire Kings River sub basin. Or as Worthley pointed out the state will give back to the citizens of KREGSA some of the money it took from them. Staff pointed out the GSA is well within budget but it will prepare a budget comparison.

Member of the public Karen Yohannes asked the board if there is any requirement for someone to represent the environmental community for someone on the advisory committee. Attorney Lauren Layne pointed out there isn’t any identified ecosystem concerns such as wildlife refuges in this GSA so it would be helpful for the public to speak up as to the particular concerns in that area.

Two documents were passed out. One dealing with AWCA JPIA liability insurance for the GSA and that will be approved on August 30th by an ACWA meeting. The other document dealt with authorizing the engineering firm of Provost & Pritchard to prepare a grant application for Prop One funds. This is for the $1.5 million per sub basin GSP development. There are seven GSAs in the Kings River sub basin but this money will only be split six ways. The South Kings GSA will be covered by the Central Kings GSA’s share. Wegley told the board how winning the grant is only the first part of it. Getting paid by the state in a timely manner has its own joys. I asked if there is a deadline for the GSP development grant and the state hasn’t set that date as yet.

Of course KREGDSA met the June 30th formation deadline and despite the last minute split of Central Kings GSA the entire sub basin made the deadline. Overall it sounded like most of the Central Valley squeaked in and covered itself. On Wednesday September 20th from 1:00-5:00 pm at the Clovis Memorial Building DWR will put on a GSP workshop and the public is welcome.

Engineer Dave DeGroot is preparing the KRE’s GSP. DeGroot gave the board an update on the coordination and hydrogeological investigations going into this effort. On a related note Wegley said DWR’s Best Management Practices and still being made up and while the GSP is supposed to be locally controlled DWR still has veto power.

Tulare County held a big powwow about well ordinances and nothing was carved in stone. If I understood the Tulare County Water Commission delayed any decision until SGMA plays out further. Director Jack Brandt asked if anyone thinks Tulare County’s and Fresno County’s well ordinances will be much different. Worthley said he doesn’t think so. Wegley said soil type and water supply will have more to do with the final decision than just county lines. Layne said she expects the coordination will be good as both counties are staying very involved.

Layne gave an update on legal matters. She said, I paraphrase, identifying the minutia of data for the KREGSA’s Prop 26 study will also be used for the GSP. The board is looking at a Prop 26 financing method. There was nothing new to report on cases before the State Supreme Court. Next month’s agenda was discussed. Lastly Worthley told everyone the Temperance Flat Dam’s Prop One application was successfully filed on the 14th and should help Friant contractors gain more Class II water that could be used for recharge and help bring the Tulare Lake Basin’s groundwater in balance. And that was that and the meeting .

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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.

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.

Kings River East GSA Board – Chair Steven Worthley Tulare County, Vice Chair Mary Fast, Buddy Mendes Fresno County, Fernando Rubalcaba Special Districts Drinking Water, Loren Booth Special Districts Irrigation Water, Jack Brandt Alta Irrigation District and Steve Boos Ag Production. General Manager Chad Wegley, Attorney Lauren Layne Website: