Update on Owens Valley Groundwater Authority

From the Sierra Wave:

“The scope of the Owens River basin’s sustainability plan became clearer following a presentation by DBS&A’s Tony Martin at last Thursday’s meeting of the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority.  The consulting firm’s tasks include compiling data, developing a timeline and stakeholder outreach plan and pulling together ecosystem data.

The key, it seems, is setting objectives (best case scenarios) and thresholds (worst case) with enough of a spread to keep the Authority from violating its own plan but still get the plan approved by the state Department of Water Resources.

According to Martin, the OVGA can set area-specific criteria, important in light of the diversity of the water demands on the basin. … “

Read more from the Sierra Wave here:  Update on Owens Valley Groundwater Authority

Owens Valley Groundwater Authority seeks statements of interest

From the Sierra Wave:

“The Owens Valley Groundwater Authority is currently soliciting Statements of Interest from local individuals, entities or groups interested in participating as an “Interested Party,” which has a voting interest in the OVGA Board.

The OVGA was created to comply with California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requirement that local agencies sustainably manage groundwater in the Owens Valley Groundwater Basin. The basin includes the Owens, Round, Chalfant, Hammil, and Benton Valleys as well as Fish Slough. … ”

Read more from Sierra Wave here:  Owens Valley Groundwater Authority seeks statements of interest

Kern County proposes walking away from groundwater management role it previously embraced

From Bakersfield.com:

“County government is considering pulling out of a coalition of local water agencies after failing to secure blanket immunity from lawsuits that could arise from efforts to rein in local groundwater pumping.

The proposal follows a written assurance by state water officials that the county’s withdrawal from the Kern Groundwater Authority will not, by itself, jeopardize local control of groundwater use across much of the area. Some local water agencies had worried it would. … “

Read more from Bakersfield.com here:  Kern County proposes walking away from groundwater management role it previously embraced

Report from the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority meeting

From the Sierra Wave:

“As if Fred Stump didn’t make his position on specific groups joining the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority board as voting members clear enough at last month’s meeting, the Mono County Supervisor doubled down Monday afternoon, objecting on ethical terms.

“This is an ethical issue,” he said at the end of a discussion on letters to be sent to potential associate members and interested parties in order to gauge interest. “I’m against votes for government agencies, businesses and special interest groups,” he said. “I want to take the decision on voting (privileges) back to our individual boards.” … ”

Read more from the Sierra Wave here:  Report from the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority meeting

Apparently, size matters to some on the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority board

“Mutual water companies and environmental groups have been waiting a year to find out what their participation in the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority might look like. The question of Associate Members and Interested Parties was on last Thursday’s agenda, but potential members of either category may never get a seat at the table.

The Joint Powers Authority that set the guidelines for the formation of the Owens Valley basin’s groundwater sustainability agency spelled out participation of groups other than governmental agencies. It was complicated, but gave a voice to groups outside the immediate circle. … “

Read more from the Sierra Wave here:  Apparently, size matters to some on the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority board

Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority’s light agenda features POAM, Prop 1 status

From the Ridgecrest Independent:

“The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority meets Thursday at 11 a.m. at Ridgecrest City Council council chambers, 100 W. California Ave.

The Groundwater Authority board will have a light agenda, including a report from Steve Johnson, the water resources manager and president of Stetson Engineers.  Johnson’s report will include discussion of the Groundwater Authority’s Plan of Action and Milestones, which serves as the agency’s roadmap in developing the Groundwater Sustainability Plan, as well as topics including the status of a Proposition 1 grant application, and updates on the pumping fee status and schedule. … ”

Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority’s light agenda features POAM, Prop 1 status

Paso Robles: Creston landowners voice qualms about Paso water management

From New Times SLO:

“Agencies overlying the 780-square-mile basin are tasked with writing a 20-year groundwater sustainability plan to submit to the state by 2020, and San Luis Obispo County and water basin officials are holding forums with affected property owners in the seven basin “sub areas” to gather their thoughts on the process and what they want in future groundwater levels.

Several dozen Creston landowners attended and inundated hydrologist Derrik Williams with questions and concerns. Many expressed skepticism toward the data on the conditions of the basin, and took issue with the boundaries of the Creston sub-area, which includes the wine region of El Pomar near Templeton. … “

Read more from New Times SLO here:  Creston landowners voice qualms about Paso water management

Kern County downsizes groundwater management role, raising concerns of state intervention

From the Bakersfield Californian:

“Concerns are rising Kern might lose local control over groundwater pumping — an activity vital to farmers, ranchers, oil producers and others — after county officials moved to scale back their own oversight role.

The county informed property owners Aug. 24 it does not have the expertise or the money to actively manage groundwater use in portions of Kern where no other management authority exists. It encouraged them to join a local water district or form their own management organization, either of which would be expected to come up with a plan for making the practice sustainable. … “

Read more from the Bakersfield Californian here:  Kern County downsizes groundwater management role, raising concerns of state intervention

Stanislaus County appeals ruling that would make it harder for farmers to dig wells

From the Modesto Bee:

“Stanislaus County will ask the state Supreme Court for a ruling on whether environmental review is a necessary step for a new water well.

In August, a state appeals court overturned the Stanislaus Superior Court’s decision in the Protecting Our Water lawsuit, which sought an injunction against county well permit approvals. The plaintiffs claimed the county was violating the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in approving well permits without considering environmental harm.  … “

Read more from the Modesto Bee here:  Stanislaus County appeals ruling that would make it harder for farmers to dig wells

Butte County: Groundwater management agencies before board

From the Chico Enterprise-Record:

“The structure of the agencies being established to manage the groundwater beneath Butte County is made clear by two items before the Butte County Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

The board is being asked to approve agreements to set up the Vina Groundwater Sustainability Agency and the Wyandotte Creek Groundwater Sustainability Agency.

Sustainability agencies are required under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which was approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Brown in 2014. … “

Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Butte County: Groundwater management agencies before board