Water heads find groundwater advisers, still accepting applications

FILE PHOTO. E-15 Water Well in Valencia CA, April 25 2018. Eddy Martinez/The Signal.

Water officials who are struck with the task of hammering out a plan to manage Santa Clarita Valley groundwater and have been looking for seven people to serve as the agency’s advisory group have received enough applications to fill each representative group.

Members of the Santa Clarita Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency, however, plan to keep on accepting applications of those interested in serving on the advisory committee.

“Applications are still open through Friday, but we now have one or more applicants in each category,” agency spokeswoman Kathie Martin said Tuesday.

“We are not searching to fill a gap,” she said. “Our additional outreach efforts have been successful to that end. But we still welcome applicants in all categories through the deadline.”

The SCV GSA has been looking for advisors since June and, as of Friday, was still looking for someone to represent “small pumpers.”

That spot has since been covered with at least one application for that group received.

“We seek insight, support and expertise from all stakeholder groups in the basin,” Martin said. “This committee will be a key component to developing a groundwater management plan with a workable and enduring strategy to maintain the health of our basin.”

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.

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 sustainability agency has until January 2022 to come up with a plan to better manage groundwater.

The seven spots needed for the advisory committee are:

  • Someone to represent “small pumpers” or those who pump up to 2 acre-feet of groundwater or less per year.
  • A representative for “medium pumpers,” defined as those who pump between 2 and 25 acre-feet of water in a year.
  • A representative for “large pumpers” or those who pump more than 25 acre-feet per year.
  • Someone from SCV’s business community; an environmentalist and two members of the public to represent members-at-large.

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.

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