Community Water Center

Community-driven water solutions through organizing, education, and advocacy

July 2017 CWLN Newsletter

Introducing your new Community Water Leaders Network Coordinator! 

Starting this month, the Community Water Leaders Network has a new Coordinator! Adriana Renteria will start work as our new Regional Water Management Coordinator starting July 27th! Adriana comes from the University of California Santa Cruz where she she previously served as program coordinator for the People of Color Sustainability Collective. Originally from Merced, Adriana is excited to be headed home to the Valley and we can’t wait to welcome her to our team! In addition to coordinating the Network, Adriana will also be heading up CWC’s work with local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) and Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) groups. Adriana will be reaching out to you in the coming month or so to introduce herself but in the meantime feel free to contact her, you can reach her at the Visalia office at 559-733-0219 or by email, adriana.renteria@communitywatercenter.org.


 

Network Roundtable discussion on water shortage contingency planning August 16th and cancellation of regular August briefing call

Next month, instead of our regular monthly briefing call for network members on the fourth Thursday of the month, we will be meeting in person for our second Community Water Leaders Network Roundtable discussion on water shortage contingency planning Thursday August 16th instead! Join us to hear about how the Governor’s plan for “Making Conservation a California Way of Life” is being used to proactively prepare California’s small and rural communities for the next drought. Each county will be required to conduct a vulnerability assessment of their water supplies and establish a Water Shortage Contingency Plan that will cover small, rural water systems and those served by domestic wells.

 

Date: Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Time: 6-8 PM (dinner included)

Location: 900 W. Oak Ave, Visalia (note our new address)


 

Public Workshops on Low Income Rate Assistance Program

Implementation for AB 401, which requires the State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) to develop a plan for a Low Income Rate Assistance (LIRA) program to help low-income residents pay their water bills, is underway. This summer, the Board is holding a series of public meetings (en español) to discuss possible program scenarios for how such a program may be structured. The next meeting will be held on August 10, 2017 in Fresno, California and is the only such meeting in the San Joaquin Valley. The workshop will give residents an opportunity to learn more about the affordability programs being considered and to share their experiences with the Water Board. Written comments on the published scenarios are due on August 25 and will help the Water Board design an effective, appropriate program to help low-income residents pay their water bills. We hope to see you at the meeting!


 

Maximum Contaminant Level Updates

 

Maximum Contaminant Level Set for Cancer-Causing 1,2,3 - TCP

This week, the State Water Board voted to adopt the MCL for 1,2,3-TCP at 5 parts per trillion. 1,2,3-TCP is a potent carcinogen that, while no longer used, still exists in groundwater and the soil from years of use within pesticides produced by Shell and Dow in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. The newly adopted MCL is set at the detection limit for the contaminant which means it is as close to the Public Health Goal as feasible. Under the new MCL, water systems will have to start testing for the contaminant by January 2018 and notify customers if an exceedance is detected. If an exceedance is detected, the water system must address the issue and work to treat the water. Unlike many other contaminants, most 1,2,3-TCP contamination is linked to two responsible parties: Shell and Dow Chemical. Shell and Dow have already lost lawsuits requiring them to clean-up contaminated groundwater, including in Clovis.

Hexavalent Chromium (Chrome 6) MCL Removed from Regulations 

In May a California court ruled in favor of the California Manufacturers and Technology Association who argued that in setting the Chrome 6 MCL, the Department of Public Health failed to complete an economic feasibility analysis. The court then ordered the State Water Board to not only halt enforcement of the MCL, but to remove the MCL from the regulations, and either complete an economic feasibility review or complete the MCL process over again. The State Water Board is still deciding upon which course of action they will take and will likely discuss the Chrome 6 MCL at the August 1st State Water Board hearing in Sacramento.

Initial MCL Review for Perchlorate Completed

In other Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) related news, on July 5th the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) considered the the findings of a recent review of the state’s perchlorate MCL of 6 ug/l which went into effect in late 2007.  In 2015, however, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment revised the public health goal for perchlorate from 6 ug/l to 1 ug/l. This revision triggered the State Water Board to review the MCL (which had been set at the public health goal). 

Because the current Detection Limit for purposes of Reporting (DLR) is set at 4 μg/l, however, there is currently not enough data available to understand the prevalence of perchlorate below that limit and therefore to assess the impacts of lowering the MCL from 6 ug/l. To remedy this problem, therefore, staff proposed that the Board first lower the Detection Limit for purposes of Reporting and then, if supported by new occurrence data, later replace the current MCL with a lower one. The board members approved of the staff plan. Therefore the next step is for staff to develop the revised Detection Limit for Purposes of Reporting which will then be subject to a 45-day comment period.

Based on the data we currently have with the current MCL and Detection Limit, between 2006 to 2016 there are 228 active and standby public water wells (of 12,237 wells tested) with at least one detection above the MCL. Most detections occurred in three counties, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside.


 

 

Don’t miss our next Network Briefing: July 27, 4-5 PM

  1. Network “briefings” are monthly conference calls that provide members the opportunity to connect with each other, crowd-source questions, and receive information from the comfort of their own homes. We changed service providers which means starting this month, we have a new conference call phone number and passcode. To join, dial (929) 432-4463, when prompted, enter the access code 5254-59-7515 followed by the pound key (#). Let Kristin know if you need a pre-paid calling card in order to call long-distance.

Agenda:

            1.   Member updates and questions

            2.   Regional and state updates and questions

            3.   Monthly discussion topic: Annual reports/CCRs, AB 401 input


 

Upcoming Events and Trainings:

Find more information and more events check our online Community Water Leaders calendar at http://www.communitywatercenter.org/water_leaders_network.


 

Featured Resource of the Month: Community Groundwater Management Worksheet

The Community Groundwater Management Worksheet is a worksheet Community Water Center developed to help water system representatives identify and record information related to groundwater management and Sustainable Groundwater Management Act implementation in their area. Once filled out, the worksheet can be used as a reference sheet in meetings or for filling out data requests from your GSA. We plan to continue updating the worksheet to make it is useful as possible for groundwater dependent small systems. Another important document you may want to have on hand when talking about SGMA is your most recent Annual Electronic Report (EAR) submitted to the Division of Drinking Water. To access a PDF print out, simply log onto your system account and download the form.

You can find the worksheet, along with many other SGMA resources, on CWC’s SGMA webpage here: http://www.communitywatercenter.org/sgma_engagement

If you have ideas on how the worksheet could be modified or expanded, or have been asked to provide information to your GSA that is not included, let us know!


 

First Major Milestone Passed for SGMA Implementation, Groundwater Reform

As you know, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, known as SGMA, was passed by the California Legislature and signed by Governor Brown in 2014. The law identifies 127 high and medium-priority groundwater basins and requires that these basins be managed sustainably to ensure the long-term reliability of our groundwater resources. To achieve this goal, the act requires all 127 high and medium-priority groundwater basin to do three things: 1) Form Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) responsible for managing and regulating groundwater extraction by June 30, 2017; 2) Develop Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) that outline local groundwater conditions and establish a clear and achievable path, including projects and management actions, for achieving sustainability; 3) Implement GSPs in order to achieve sustainable groundwater levels within twenty years (2040 for the Central Valley).

The first of these deadlines has just come and gone. As such, we know how many GSAs have formed and where and therefore who will be managing groundwater resources in the south San Joaquin Valley for the decades to come. The following GSAs have filed all the necessary paperwork to manage groundwater in their respective groundwater subbasins.

Kings subbasin:

  1. Kings River East GSA: A Special Act District (created by special state legislation) created to serve as the GSA for the greater-Alta Irrigation District area including the cities of Orange Cove, Reedley and Dinuba, communities of Orosi, Cutler, Sultana, East Orosi, and London.
  2. James Irrigation District: James ID will serve as a GSA for its own boundaries and the city of San Joaquin.
  3. North Kings GSA: A Joint Powers Authority comprised of many different agencies covering the greater Fresno and Clovis area.
  4. Central Kings GSA: Consolidated Irrigation District will serve as GSA for its boundaries and the city of Selma.
  5. South Kings GSA: A Joint Powers Authority of the four cities of Sanger, Kingsburg, Parlier and Fowler with a Memorandum of Understanding with Del Rey CSD.
  6. North Fork Kings River GSA: A Special Act District (created by special state legislation) created to serve as the GSA for western Fresno County including the communities of Riverdale, Lanare and Laton.
  7. McMullin group: A Joint Powers Authority of two irrigation/water districts with the County of Fresno for a smaller portion of west Fresno County.

Westside subbasin:

  1. Westlands Water District GSA: Westlands Water District, with an agreement with Fresno County, will serve as the GSA for the entire Westside subbasin.

Kaweah Subbasin:

  1. Mid-Kaweah GSA: A Joint Powers Authority made up of the Cities of Tulare and Visalia with Tulare Irrigation District.
  2. Greater Kaweah GSA: A Joint Powers Authority made up of several agencies headed up by Kaweah Delta Conservation District covering most of the Kaweah Subbasin including the cities of Exeter, Woodlake and Farmersville and communities of Ivanhoe, Lemon Cove, Patterson Tract and Tract 92.
  3. Eastern Kaweah GSA: A Joint Powers Authority between east side irrigation districts with federal water contracts and the City of Lindsay. 

Tule Subbasin:

  1.  Lower Tule River Irrigation District: Lower Tule River Irrigation District will serve as the GSA for their own boundaries and the communities of Woodville, Poplar and Tipton.
  2. Pixley Irrigation DIstrict: Pixley irrigation District will serve as the GSA for their own boundaries and the communities of Teviston and Pixley.
  3. Eastern Tule GSA: A Joint Powers Authority comprised of various east side water/irrigation districts and the city of Porterville.
  4. Delano-Earlimart Irrigation District: Delano Earlimart Irrigation District will serve as the GSA for their own boundaries and the community of Earlimart.
  5. Tri-County GSA: A Joint Powers Authority made up of Angiola Water District and Deer Creek stormwater district for much of the southwest of the County of Tulare covering parts of the Tule and Tulare Lake subbasins.
  6. Alpaugh GSA: A Joint Powers Authority comprised of Alpaugh CSD, Alpaugh Irrigation District and Atwell Island Water District covering parts of the Tule and Tulare Lake subbasins.

Tulare Lake subbasin:

  1. Tri-County GSA: A Joint Powers Authority made up of Angiola Water District and Deer Creek stormwater district for much of the southwest of the County of Tulare covering parts of the Tule and Tulare Lake subbasins.
  2. Alpaugh GSA: A Joint Powers Authority comprised of Alpaugh CSD, Alpaugh Irrigation District and Atwell Island Water District covering parts of the Tule and Tulare Lake subbasins.
  3. Mid-Kings GSA: A Joint Powers Authority for the central portion of the Tulare Lake Subbasin including the city of Hanford.
  4. South Fork Kings GSA: A Joint Powers Authority comprised of City of Lemoore, County of Kings, Empire West Side Irrigation District, Stratford Irrigation District and Stratford Public Utility District.
  5. Southwest Kings GSA:  A Joint Powers Authority between Dudley Ridge Water District, Tulare Lake Reclamation District No. 761, Tulare Lake Basin Water Storage District, Kettleman City Community Services District and the County of Kings that will serve as the GSA for the western edge of the subbasin.
  6. El Rico GSA: A Joint Powers Authority between a few water districts and Kings County which will serve as the GSA for the majority of the Tulare Lake subbasin.

Kern subbasin:

  1. Kern River GSA: A Joint Powers Authority between a local water district, a local improvement district and the city of Bakersfield will serve as the GSA for Bakersfield and areas southwest of bakersfield.
  2. Greenfield County Water District:  Greenfield will serve as a GSA for their own boundaries.
  3. Buena Vista Water Storage District:  Buena Vista will serve as a GSA for their own boundaries and the community of Buttonwillow.
  4. West Kern Water District: West Kern Water District will serve as a GSA for their own boundaries.
  5. Henry Miller Water District GSA: Henry Miller will serve as a GSA for their own boundaries.
  6. Olcese GSA: Olcese will serve as a GSA for their own boundaries.
  7. Pioneer GSA: Pioneer will serve as a GSA for their own boundaries.
  8. Semitropic Water Storage District GSA: Semitropic will serve as a GSA for their own boundaries.
  9. Kern Groundwater Authority GSA: A Joint Powers Authority made up of several agencies covering most of the Kern Subbasin
  10. Cawelo Water District GSA: Cawelo Water District will serve as a GSA for their own boundaries.
  11. McFarland GSA: The City of McFarland will serve as a GSA for the city boundaries. 

Where there are more than one GSA in a subbasin, developing Groundwater Plans will need to involve two different levels of work, subbasin-wide efforts requiring the coordination of all subbasin GSAs, and GSA-specific work. Both are crucial to ensuring safe and affordable drinking water for your community long into the future. For help getting involved with your local GSA or subbasin coordination efforts, contact CWC.


 

REMINDER: Reduced Annual Fees for DAC Public Water Systems

On May 15, 2017 the State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water issued a letter to Community Public Water Systems informing them of the possibility of reducing their Annual Fee if the system serves a Disadvantaged Community (DAC). 

If you qualify (the Median Household Income in your community is less than $49,454), the reduced fee for your water system will be based on the number of connections that you serve. Systems serving fewer than 100 connections will pay $100. Systems serving 15,000 connections or less will pay $100 plus $2 for each service connection greater than 100.

If you believe your water system is eligible and wish to receive a reduced Annual Fee, submit a request in the form of a signed letter and include information demonstrating that your community meets the definition of a Disadvantaged Community, the DDW will respond.

You can find the letter they sent here. If you have any questions, contact your District Engineer. 


 

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