Groundwater managers seek 7 to serve as advisers

Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency

Water officials struck with the task of hammering out a plan to manage SCV groundwater are looking for seven people to serve as the agency’s advisory group.

On Monday, members of the Santa Clarita Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency met in part to discuss forming an advisory committee.

“We need their input to move ahead,” Tara Bravo, spokeswoman for CV Strategies, told the GSA board.

CV Strategies is a company that helps water agencies prepare projects such as consumer confidence reports.

Bravo told the board she and members of the GSA Formation work group recommended the board approve the process presented to them in a PowerPoint presentation Monday.

The seven spots that need filling are:

  • someone to represent “small pumpers” or those who pump up to two acre-feet of groundwater or less per year;
  • a representative for “medium pumpers” defined as those who pump between two and 25 acre-feet of water in a year;
  • a rep for “large pumpers” or those who pump more than 25 acre-feet per year;
  • andsomeone from SCV’s business community; an environmentalist and two members of the public to represent members-at-large..

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, formed as California emerged from a multi-year drought, calls on all communities to manage the groundwater in their respective areas.

Each assembled Groundwater Sustainable Agency has until January 2022 to come up with a plan to better manage groundwater.

Inhammering out such a plan, members of the SCV GSA proposed Monday that a Stakeholder Advisory Committee be formed to help them with “meaningful input.”

This committee would include a variety of interested parties and basic water users.

Through a “consensus-based process” it would provide insight, support and expertise on various social, cultural and economic issues. The committee’s role is strictly advisory.

Bravo and the GSA work group suggested three methods for choosing each of the seven representatives.

However, they recommended “self-selection” by the applicants to each particular advisory committee spot.

Under a state law passed three years ago, a law spurred by drought concerns and conservation, California communities — through their water agencies — 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 Boulevard.

In August 2018, officials with SCV Water sharpened its profile as a GSA by creating a seven-member governing body that would report to the state on managing groundwater in the Santa Clarita Valley.

[email protected] 661-287-5527 on Twitter @jamesarthurholt

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