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Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority, August 5, 2020

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By Michael Young

On August 5th, the Yuba Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority (TCCA) held its monthly board of directors meeting over teleconference rather than the typical in-person meetings, pursuant to Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-25-20. After a roll call vote to establish a quorum, meeting minutes for the June 3rd gathering as well as the board’s financial report from June 22nd were both unanimously approved. Board Chairman Kenneth LaGrade then kicked off the conversation by allowing General Manager Jeffrey Sutton to provide his reports for the month.Conterra

The TTCA is a Joint Powers Authority serving 17 Central Valley Project water contractors spanning across four different northern California counties – Tehama, Glenn, Colusa, and Yolo. This organization facilitates the 140-mile Tehama-Colusa and Corning canals irrigation water supply systems. Moreover, this 150,000-acre wide swathing area annually produces over $250 million in crops and contributes roughly $1 billion to Northern California’s regional economy. The TCCA is certainly regarded as one of California’s top “movers-and-shakers” within the golden state’s water industry.

            Sutton proceeded by providing updates related to operations and maintenance. Although the conversation wasn’t too dense, issues related to water quality and a decrease in canal capacity was of utmost concern. Negotiations with various stakeholders that could be of help are ongoing and more on this topic is likely to be available during next month’s meeting. Further, on the topic of meetings and presentations, discussions ranged from the fantastically ran Association of California Water Agencies’ conference to federal government assistance being sent to the Klamath Falls region amid their water crisis, in which water supply is projected to be reduced by 60,000 acre-feet.

Next up on the agenda covered general business discussions. Amidst the public health and economic crisis that is the COVID-19 pandemic, many on the conference call unilaterally agreed that 2020 has been year flush with challenges. Highlights included the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) finally accepting the temperature control plan that was submitted months prior, while local entities were reporting better than projected results.

Additionally, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) reported new groundwater modeling data is now available. To round things out, new funding opportunities have arisen from Governor Gavin Newsom’s Final Water Resilience Portfolio. This plan (portfolio) is the state Administration’s blueprint for equipping California “to cope with more extreme droughts and floods, rising temperatures, declining fish populations, over-reliance on groundwater and other challenges.”

From there, the general discussion concluded with the announcement of the next Sites Project Authority meeting on August 13th, 2020. This meeting is slated to focus around strategic planning with the Board of Directors and will be made available to the public using teleconference and/or WebEx technology platforms.

The meeting then went into closed session. However, before the motion was made to do so, LaGrade publicly announced that he will not be seeking re-election for the chairmanship in October 2020.

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Michael Young brings a professional portfolio of public policy and government relations with and agri-marketing and communications foundational background.

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