Documenter: Danielle Huerta

Here’s what you need to know

  • The first quarterly financial report was approved

  • Outreach services between GKGSA and Kings River Conservation District was amended to no longer use Stantec

  • The Water Accounting Framework correlates with the water budget except for a few outliers such as deep wells.

Board of Directors

  • Director Paul Boyer, Director Rural Communities Committee

  • Director Joe Cardoza III, Director Stakeholder Committee 

  • Chairman Don Mills, Director/Chair Lakeside Irrigation Water District

  • Director Eric Shannon, Director St. Johns Water District

  • Director Stephen Johnson, Director California Water Service Company 

  • Director Ernie Taylor, Director Kings County Water District  

  • Director Pete Vander Poel, Director County of Tulare  

  • Director Brian Watte, Director Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District

  • Director Chris Tantau, Director/Vice Chair

  • Eric Osterling, Secretary / General Manager 

  • Aubrey Mauritson, Legal Counsel

The Scene

The Greater Kaweah Groundwater Sustainability Agency meeting was held simultaneously both in-person and through Zoom at 1 p.m. on July 12, 2021. This meeting was open to the public both in-person (with limited seats available) and through Zoom, though no members of the public attended in-person. Nobody was wearing masks.

The meeting opened with a roll call by Chairman Mills. Director Johnson was absent. 

The first announcement was that Bryant Platt is the new Department of Water Resources contact for the Kaweah sub-basin. He attended the meeting through Zoom. A moment of silence was held after Mills announced that Richard Schaffer of the technical advisory committee passed away about one week ago.


Minutes from the meeting held on June 14, 2021 were approved. 

The agency then went over the financial report for the quarterly period ending on June 30, 2021.

  • Office supplies were cancelled but Zoom will continue to be used.

  • Standard consultant fees

  • Final expenses for Prop 218 were finished within budget

  • Profits and Loss

    • Received payment for the first half of the year

    • Received 34% of budgeted grant income. Some of this money was allocated to other activities. Mills believes that the GKGSA will not receive the rest of this funding because of this.

    • Miscellaneous income is interest from account with County of Tulare

    • About 50% understaffed 

    • Under-budget in office expenses

    • Funds for the sub-basin coordination will be changing due to upcoming expenses such as an approved contract with Land IQ

  • The financial report was approved

The ongoing outreach scope of services between GKGSA and Kings River Conservation District was amended. The GKGSA used to use Stantec for outreach services but will be using a new provider. One of the directors asked how this new outreach provider is better. Mills responded that they are cheaper. The amendment was approved.

Kaweah Sub-basin Reports

  • The Kaweah Sub-basin Management Team Committee meeting scheduled for July 21, 20201 was canceled and moved to August 18, 2021 at 9 a.m.

    • Mills noted that today’s GKGSA meeting was the first meeting open to the public to attend in-person, though he is not sure if this will be the case for the Kaweah Sub-basin Management Team Committee meeting.

  • Department of Water Resources

    • The Department of Water Resources will not release the Groundwater Sustainability Plan reviews until sometime this Fall.

    • A presentation was held on Friday by the Department of Water Resources regarding the statewide survey they conducted. 

      • Data was collected on a 2×2 mile grid. Mills praised this for being more dense than he expected. 

      • Department of Water Resources asked for area of interest maps in the south valley. They are also looking for groundwater level and lithology measurements. This data will become public.

  • Water Accounting Framework, Hydrologic model, Groundwater Allocation Efforts

    • Water Accounting Framework model correlates with the water budget however there are some anomalies due to calibrations. Typically deeper wells do not correlate with the model well.

    • Montgomery is under-budget but they are not sure by how much. A meeting to discuss this in detail will be held sometime in the near future. Mills suggests that this meeting could potentially be held on July 21, 2021 in place of the Kaweah Sub-basin Management Team Committee meeting that was cancelled, though he is not sure at this time.

    • There have been significant drops in groundwater elevation in some areas, sometimes as much as 30 feet.

    • East Kaweah estimates groundwater pumping in-house. GKGSA is looking to use this same methodology. 

    • The GKGSA has an overlapping contract with Kings County Water District. Mills says they could save some funds by coordinating with Kings County Water District so that they will not be double charged.

  • San Joaquin Valley Water Blueprint

    • Technical Advisory Committee tried to reschedule their monthly Friday meeting last week but never did

  • RCIS Grant  

    • First public draft meeting scheduled for July 21, 2021 at 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. at the Tulare AG Center. This is open to the public.

  • Central Valley Salinity Alternatives for Long-Term Sustainability (CV-SALTS) Coordination

    • CV-SALTS is hosting workshops this month

      • Basic nitrate and groundwater on July 27-28, 2021

      • How to fill out a well test form July 29-30, 2021

      • People interested must fill out a registration form at 

  • Prop 68 Planning and Implementation Grants

    • GKGSA has received water meter reports from Fresno State. They will try to schedule a meeting with Fresno State to discuss which meters they should use. This information will be available to the public soon.

  • USBR Water Market Planning Grant

    • Forms for this grant have been submitted and are just waiting to hear back

    • Water Marketing grant is moving forward. A meeting was held discussing this. At this meeting they selected Stantec to prepare their strategy. Stantec was over budget for this grant. Mills said he will be attending a meeting for this in the future to discuss how much money the GKGSA will need to pay. They are over budget about $70,000 but this will be split three ways and will not be paid all at once. Mills states that this could spill into the next fiscal year as well.

    • A director asked if farmers will receive any benefit or credit for not pumping water in areas where vines and trees were removed. Mills responded that he “gets asked that question daily”. His answer to this question is that the agency would need to come up with a  policy and credit allocation first, which they have not done yet.

      • Another director stated that he attended a hearing at the Porterville Fairgrounds last month about this to see what the public had to say about it

  • Although mentioned in the agenda, the Stanford Collaboration was not mentioned during the meeting.

  • Other

    • The Environmental Defense Fund is in its early stages. They had previously forced everyone to use open ET. Mills stated that he was against this. They have now changed to be more flexible. They are forming a technical advisory committee and a stakeholder committee. Mills then asked if it was alright to be on the technical committee. 

    • There was a coordination call with the County of Tulare and discussed receiving daily permit applications, well completion reports, and well permits applications. The County of Tulare is developing an FTP site, a data management system, where they store this information together. GKGSA is working on how this information will be shared with them as there are some privacy concerns. They may need to have an agreement of access. 

    • There has been staff turnover at Kings County. They have lost their CIO and are down a few planners. GKGSA is looking to implement a relationship like what they have with Tulare County to share their database information. Their database will be online. All new well applications will be submitted electronically.

  • GKGSA Reports

    • The Technical Advisory Committee will meet at 1 p.m. on August 27, 2021.

    • The Rural Communities Committee and Stakeholders Committee will meet at 1 p.m. on August 31, 2021

    • Documents have been successfully submitted to Tulare and Kings county to be tax forms. This will be part of their fall assessment and the GKGSA will receive their first check in December or January.

The next GKGSA meeting will be August 9, 2021 at 1 p.m. The meeting was then adjourned to a closed meeting to discuss anticipated litigation [government code section 54956.9 (d) (2)]

Public Comment

There was no public comment.

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