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

Indian Wells Valley: Groundwater Authority committees meet for first time in 2019

From the Ridgecrest Independent:

The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority Technical Advisory and Policy Advisory committees met Thursday at the Indian Wells Valley Water District boardroom.  Special Legal Counsel Jim Markman was present during both meetings, though he mainly spoke and gave updates on the pumping and allocation process during the first portion of the PAC meeting.

Markman discussed his encounters and experience up until this point with other legal counsel involved in a handful of successful water negotiations in California, all of which had different scenarios and factors to them to show the possible solutions and outcomes to the committee. … ”

Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Indian Wells Valley: Groundwater Authority committees meet for first time in 2019

Antelope Valley: Watermaster staff cuts near?

From the Antelope Valley Press:

“The Antelope Valley Watermaster, the body tasked with overseeing the 2015 court settlement that set limits on groundwater pumping for users across the Valley, will look to reduce administrative costs in the coming year by shifting some of the work to staff from the con­tract­ed watermaster engineer, now that procedures are in place to make some matters more or less routine.

On Wednesday, the watermaster board accepted a proposal put forth by the Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency, the Palmdale Water District and the Quartz Hill Water District to provide administrative services for the coming year for a proposed $108,901. … “

Read more from the Antelope Valley Press here:  Antelope Valley: Watermaster staff cuts near?

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

Indian Wells Valley: Johnson cites aggressive schedule for GSP development

From the Ridgecrest Independent:

“With a tightening deadline to submit a groundwater sustainability plan to the state, the IWV Groundwater Authority’s water resources manager plans to move more aggressively in the development process.  Steve Johnson, the water resources manager and Stetson Engineers, Inc. president, highlighted that fact Thursday during the Groundwater Authority’s board meeting.

Johnson said that given the Groundwater Authority’s tight timeline to complete and submit the sustainability plan, Stetson Engineers will be pursuing an aggressive schedule to get components done. … ”

Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Indian Wells Valley: Johnson cites aggressive schedule for GSP development

Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority talk health and safety, imported water

From the Ridgecrest Independent:

“Health and safety concerns became a topic of discussion at Thursday’s Indian Wells Valley Groundwater board meeting when Ridgecrest resident Nick Panzer broached the subject.  Speaking during public comment, Panzer presented a letter to board addressing possible water allocations down the road as the Groundwater Authority prepares its sustainability plan.

“We must end overdraft in our basin,” Panzer said. “That means we must reduce pumping from about 28,000 acre feet a year to about 7,000 acre-feet per year.” … ”

Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority talk health and safety, imported water

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

Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority digests water rights

From the Ridgecrest Independent:

“The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority’s policy advisory committee received a comprehensive legal rundown and case history on water rights Thursday night.

In a two-hour meeting, Groundwater Authority special legal counsel Jim Markman highlighted different scenarios, described the difference between overlying water rights (essentially pumping over the land one owns) and appropriators rights (those held by agencies like the IWV Water District), discussed adjudication and possible outcomes for achieving sustainability.

Markman said his task “is to pull all the interests in this basin and have everyone understand their strengths and possible weaknesses of their claims for water production rights,” not advocating for any one group’s water rights or priorities. … “

Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority digests water rights

Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority board updated on pump fee, Prop. 1 grant status

From the Ridgecrest Independent:

“Things are pacing along with the Department of Water Resources as the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority awaits final authorization on a set of Proposition 1 grants, according to the agency’s water resources manager.

Steve Johnson, president of Stetson Engineers, Inc. and the Groundwater Authority’s water resources manager, provided an update to the agency’s board of directors on Aug. 16. He noted that revised agreements have been submitted to the state before it executes the $2.1 million grant agreement. … “

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