Owners of groundwater wells sought for water advisory group

Pumping mechanism on E-15 Water Well in Valencia CA, April 25 2018. Eddy Martinez/The Signal.

Karl and Shirley Reinecker are the type of people local water officials want to recruit for a new state-mandated committee.

The couple lives on a ranch in Tapia Canyon, north of Valencia, accessible by a dirt road that few travel down, Karl Reinecker said Tuesday.

But the Reineckers pump their water from a groundwater well, which puts them in a very narrow demographic whom specially chosen members of the state-ordered Santa Clarita Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency have been trying to exploit in an effort to form an Advisory Committee.

Under a state law passed two years ago, which was spurred by drought concerns and conservation, local water agencies statewide are expected to come up with a community-based groundwater sustainability agency.

The groundwater in question involves the Santa Clara River Valley East Sub-Basin which stretches west from Agua Dulce to the Ventura County line and from the northern reaches of Castaic Lake to Calgrove.

Those who draw their water from a well possess a commodity state and local water officials covet more than water — information about water, specifically, information about the scarcity of groundwater.

“I knew we were losing our groundwater and that something has to be done to sustain it,” Karl Reinecker, 86, said Tuesday, noting it was the reason he attended one of the very first meetings of the SCV GSA. He added that it’s always been an interest of his.

Reinecker worked at Rockwell International and, during his time there, he read a lot of studies prepared by the Department of Energy.

“One study reported water in the San Joaquin Delta dropped 105 feet,” he said.

“We are aware of the loss of groundwater,” he added. “But, if the state wants to know if we’ve lost 2 acre-feet of groundwater, how are they going to know?”

Meters on wells

Putting meters on groundwater wells was one method suggested at one of the early GSA meetings as a way of keeping track of the availability of groundwater.

Mitch Glaser, a member of the GSA representing the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning, attended a GSA meeting earlier this month at which two presentations were made.

“The GSA Board received two presentations,” Glaser said. “The first presentation pertained to the anticipated budget for development of the Groundwater Sustainability Plan.

“It was helpful to get an understanding of the total costs, how much of the costs would be covered by the grant we received, and how much of the costs would be related to consultant work.

“The second presentation,” he said. “Pertained to the Stakeholder Advisory Committee.

“Although this group may not be organized for some time, it was helpful to review its potential structure and membership,” he said.

“The Stakeholder Advisory Committee will be instrumental in preparing the (sustainability plan) and making sure it represents everyone’s interests,” he said.

Private wells

“The unincorporated portions of the Santa Clarita Valley include many private wells, operated by both small and large pumpers, so it is especially important to me that these individuals are fully represented on the Stakeholder Advisory Committee,” Glaser said.

“We look forward to an upcoming public workshop that will help spread awareness and hopefully spur more public involvement,” he said.

Reinecker said he hopes to attend that workshop.

“A workshop is being planned for the afternoon of Tuesday, June 26 (at The Centre, 20880 Centre Point Parkway, in the Sycamore Room), where stakeholders will be invited for an overview of the GSP development process,” Kathy Martin, spokeswoman for the SCV Water Agency.

Meanwhile, the search for pumpers of groundwater wells are being sought.

“We’re using an email distribution list to advise people of GSA meetings,” Martin said.For people interested in joining the mailing list for more information about the meetings, visit  https://yourscvwater.com/index.php/groundwater-sustainability-agency/ . The SCV Water Agency is located at  27234 Bouquet Canyon Road, in Saugus.

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