Documenter: Josef Sibala

Here’s what you need to know

  • The ETGSA Emergency Ordinance No. 2021-01 that applied since Oct. 1, 2020, “reduced” the new amount of groundwater consumption (by acre-feet) by 10%

  • According to Michael Knight, the committee recognized the control of the Community Management Areas in Porterville, Terra Bella, and DuCor. Also, the Greater East Tule Management Area will manage the irrigated areas. 

  • Lastly, the committee discussed the ETSA Legal Split Parcel opt-in agreement, which asks landowners of 1,300 acres of “partially in and partially out” parcels whether they want to include under ETGSA.

The Scene

The Eastern Tule Groundwater Sustainable Agencies (ETGSA) Stakeholder Committee, according to its website, enforces the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) that is specified by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). 

The committee consults with water districts and “various environmental and agricultural interests” regarding groundwater use. 

The June 10, 2021 meeting started at 2 p.m., available via Zoom, with public feedback encouraged. In addition, the committee discusses projects every month. 

Stakeholder Members Present:

Roger Caudillo, Sopey Mulholland, Julia Inestroza, Matt Watkins, and Tom O’Sullivan

Others Present:

Peter Harman, Michael Knight, Trelawny Bullis, Sean Geivet, Leland Meibeyer, Charlie Ritchie, Richard Ritchie, John Michael Domondon, Rhett Anderson, and Adriana Barba. 

Discussions/Action

After the roll call, public comment was closed, with no announcements made. The committee approved in full the minutes of the May 13, 2021 meeting.

First, General Manager Caudilio reported the ETGSA Emergency Ordinance No. 2021-01, covering Oct 1, 2020, through Water Year 2021. 

The ordinance “reduced” the new amount of groundwater consumptive use (acre-feet) to 10%. 

The fallowed irrigated agricultural lands with Transitional Tier 1 Penalty Allocation will get their Sustainable Yield Allocation without deductions. 

Fallowed lands in the Water Year 2021 will receive a pro-rata allocation of the annual allowance for the allotted time; for example, those fallowed in June will take one-third more of the distribution. 

Meanwhile, non-irrigated agricultural lands with “long-term” Sustainable Yield Allocation and no Transitional Tier 1 Penalty Allocation will have their Native Sustainable Yield “unaffected by deficits.” 

Then, owners with SYA and no Transitional Tier 1 Penalty Allocation may withdraw from rules and regulation through a request to ETGSA, provided they pay penalties and charges when participating. 

According to Michael Knight, the committee has recognized the control of the Community Management Areas in Porterville, Terra Bella, and DuCor. 

The Greater East Tule Management Area will manage the irrigated areas. Thus, they sent notices to landowners to introduce their allocation and parcels in the system. The measure is a “work in progress,” Knight said. 

The committee discussed the ETGSA Legal Split Parcel opt-in agreement, which asks landowners of 1,300 acres of “partially in and partially out” parcels to include them under ETGSA. 

Lands outside the boundaries of GSA and the subbasins require separate “difficult” legal work since these are outside the control of ETGSA.

Member Tom O’Sullivan argued the agreement allows “flexibility” to landowners of bisected parcels, which are “partially in and partially out” of the ETGSA. Member Watkins clarified opting out lots of the ETGSA must be a “one-time thing.” 

Lastly, member Sean Geivet replied to member Julia Inestroza, who asked whether exporting water will be an issue in the agreement. According to him, there is “no issue” whatsoever about exporting water. 

The meeting ended at 3:10 p.m. The next meeting will be on Thursday, July 8, 2021, at 2 p.m. via Zoom. 

If you believe anything in these notes is inaccurate, please email us at Documenters-admin@thefresnoland.com with “Correction Request” in the subject line.

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