Here’s what you need to know: 

  • In public comment, Virginia Penalosa urged the council to pass a resolution to enable Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing through Ygrene in the city. 
  • The council (5-0) adopted a resolution approving the Surface Water Supply Agreement with Fresno Irrigation District, which will end in 2040. 
  • City Engineer Jerry Jansons said that the water deliveries are on an “allocation” rather than a volume basis. He added that the agreement will not result in, “large cost increases.”

The Scene

According to its website, the City Council serves as the policy-making board of the City. The Kerman City Council has five members, including the Mayor. The City elects its mayor for a two-year term and Council Members for four-year terms.  

The City Council meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at the Kerman City Hall, 850 S. Madera Ave. The meeting is accessible through Zoom.

Officials Present:

  • Mayor Gary Yep 
  • Council Member Bill Nijjer 
  • Council Member Jennifer Coleman 
  • Council Member Kevin Nehring
  • Mayor Pro Tem Ismael Herrera 

Others Present:

  • City Clerk Marci Reyes
  • City Attorney Hilda Cantu-Montoy
  • City Manager John Jansons
  • City Engineer Jerry Jones
  • Mary Rodriguez
  • Virginia Penalosa


In public comment, Virginia Penalosa urged the Council to pass a resolution to enable Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing through Ygrene in the City. 

The Council (5-0) unanimously approved the items as follows:

A. Council approved the minutes of May 11, 2022, as presented. May 11, 2022 

B. Council approved payroll as presented. 

C. Council approved warrants and electronic bank transfers as presented. (Under Government Code 37208) 

D. Council accepted the Monthly Investment Report as presented 

E. Council by motion approved deferred receipt of the residual Fiscal Year 2022/2023 Community Development Block Grant program funds for approximately $16,000 for allocation in the Fiscal Year 2023/2024. 

Department reports involve the following:

4. The council (5-0) adopted a resolution approving the Surface Water Supply Agreement Between Fresno Irrigation District. 

The City is subject to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which requires the City to reach groundwater sustainability (a balance of groundwater pumping and recharge) by 2040. 

The City needs to acquire a surface water supply for groundwater recharge to meet this requirement. 

The City is within the boundaries of the Fresno Irrigation District, which has the necessary water rights, water supplies, and distribution system necessary to convey surface water to the City. 

City Staff has negotiated an agreement with the Fresno Irrigation District to provide the City with access to a surface water supply for groundwater recharge to achieve groundwater sustainability. 

 In 2016, the North Kings GSA (NKGSA) formed a Joint Powers Authority (JPA), and Kerman elected to join as a member. 

NKGSA prepared its required Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP), which details the mitigation measures to achieve groundwater sustainability in 2040. 

On the GSP, the City must address an average groundwater deficit (groundwater pumping less groundwater recharge) of 2,150 acre-feet annually to achieve groundwater sustainability in 2040.

The GSP was adopted in January 2020, ahead of the State deadline. 

Since the sole water source for the City is groundwater, there are limited options for achieving sustainability. 

These options are: 

1. Pumping reduction (i.e., reduction in water use); or 

2. Recharge the groundwater aquifer with non-groundwater supply (i.e., surface water). 

The most logical and feasible solution for groundwater sustainability is to secure surface water for groundwater recharge to offset groundwater pumping. 

The City is within the boundaries of Fresno Irrigation District (FID). 

FID holds certain water rights and has developed water supplies and a water distribution system for surface water irrigation, municipal uses, and groundwater banking (recharge). 

Even before the passage of SGMA, City Staff had been working with FID to develop an agreement for the purchase of surface water to be used for groundwater recharge and possibly landscape irrigation. 

However, negotiations with FID had never gained enough traction to result in an approved agreement. 

The passage of SGMA and subsequent adoption of the NKGSP resulted in a renewed, required effort between the City and FID to reach an agreement. Both parties are members of the NKGSA, and the GSA cannot reach sustainability without coordinated efforts between member agencies. 

The City and FID began negotiations on the terms of an agreement in May 2021, and FID provided an initial draft of the agreement in November 2021. 

Below are the key points of the agreement: 

1. From the surface water supply available to FID, FID will provide the City a surface water supply equivalent to up to 0.5% of FID’s net Kings River supply available for surface water customer deliveries in every Kings River Water year during the term of the Agreement. 

FID’s Kings River supply averages approximately 430,000 acre-feet per year, so 0.5% equates to the City’s needed 2,150 acre-feet per year to meet their mitigation requirements under the NKGSP. 

FID’s Kings River supply fluctuates with hydrologic conditions, so the actual amount of surface water available to the City each year will fluctuate with Kings River and other hydrologic conditions and FID’s actual surface water supply availability in each given year. 

2. The surface water supply shall be for purposes of groundwater recharge. The City shall not sell, transfer, deliver or exchange any of the surface water supply without the written consent of FID. 

3. At no time will the surface water supply delivered to the City by FID be directly treated and used by the City for municipal, industrial, or residential uses. 

As an exception, if requested by the City, FID would permit the City’s pumping of some water directly out of recharge basin(s) for landscaping/irrigation uses by the City, including the blending of such pumped basin water with treated (purple pipe) water. 

4. The City’s surface water supply will not be unadjustable based on lands annexed into the City over time, nor will it be adjusted to reflect any changes in the City or NKGSA’s recommended, targeted, or required contribution to groundwater recharge. 

5. FID will require the City to pay FID’s current water service rate annually for 1,075 acres. The 1,075 acres is according to the fact that FID delivers on average two acre-feet per acre per year, so the equivalent acreage for 2,150 acre-feet is 1,075 acres. For example, FID’s 2022 water service rate is $52.20 per acre, so the total amount due from the City would be 1,075 x $52.20=$56,115.00. 

The city’s annual surface water payment obligation for the fixed acreage of 1,075 acres will be multiplying the acres by the applicable FID water service rate each year to determine the annual payment due to FID. 

Consistent with other municipal agreements and ratepayers, the total amount will be paid in full each year by the City regardless of the amount of available supply or the amount delivered to or used by the City. 

6. The City’s obligation to make its annual payment is according to water delivered to or accepted by the City. 

7. The Agreement will remain in effect until December 31, 2040, and will continue after that for additional terms of five (5) years, each upon approval by both parties. 

The two parties have reached a final version of the agreement. Staff recommends approval of the agreement. 

As discussed above, the City will purchase the surface water supply from FID annually. 

For2022, this cost is estimated to be $56,115. The City will need to use Water Operations Reserves to cover the cost for the time being. 

The City’s water utility service rates will factor in the cost of conducting its next utility rate study.

A substantial portion of existing property owners within the City currently pay an annual assessment to FID on their property tax bill. 

The justification for this is that because the properties are within FID’s boundaries, the properties receive a general benefit from FID’s water supply deliveries to the general area that contribute to groundwater recharge. 

These assessments are between $57,000 to $67,000 annually. 

Once this Agreement is approved and takes effect, FID will move to no longer collect these assessments. 

City residents will pay for the water supply purchase cost through their water utility bill. 

The annual cost paid by the City to FID is for the purchase of the surface water supply only. 

This cost does not include the cost of purchasing land, excavating recharge basins or

constructing connecting pipelines and structures to turn FID canal water into recharge facilities. 

A combination of Water Operations Reserves, grant funding, and impact fee for future development will bear the costs associated with their projects. 

Specific funding for each groundwater recharge project will be identified during planning for that project and budgeted accordingly.

The Council adjourned at 9:00 pm. The next Council meeting will be on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, at 6:00 pm through Zoom. 

If you believe anything in these notes is inaccurate, please email us at with “Correction Request” in the subject line.

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