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 ASSOCIATION OF GROUND WATER AGENCIES NEWSLETTER                                                    Spring 2006

 Regional Board Proposes Imported Water Discharge Requirements
 By John Rossi

      he California Regional
 T    Water Quality Control
 Board, Santa Ana Region,
                                                          legally required to assure that those projects are consis-
                                                          tent with the objectives.” The report goes on to state
                                                          that, “Otherwise, Basin Plan objectives could be violated
 has noticed a public hear-                               and the TDS and nitrate-nitrogen management activities
 ing for July 14 on a pro-                                undertaken by certain stakeholders could be compro-
 posed order that will have                               mised by the recharge activities of others.”
 far-reaching conse-                                        The Regional Board staff recommends adoption of the
 quences in the Santa Ana                                 order “to assure that imported water groundwater
 region if adopted.                                       recharge projects do not cause or contribute to viola-
   This order, in a nutshell,                             tions of applicable water quality standards, particularly
 would change the face of                                 the established groundwater objectives for Total
 water recharge in the                                    Dissolved Solids (TDS) and nitrate-nitrogen.”
                                         John Rossi
 Santa Ana watershed, put-                                  In order to comply with the order, prospective discharg-
 ting at peril millions of dollars in projects and ham-   ers would be required to file a Notice of Intent to comply
 pering efforts to drought-proof the region.              with the terms and conditions of the discharge require-
   Essentially, the Regional Board proposes issuing       ments; pay annual fees as required in Title 23, and file a
 general waste discharge requirements for                 project map and evidence of CEQA compliance, along
 injection/percolation of imported State Water Project                                                       Continued on page 2
 water, Colorado River water, or imported well water
 to recharge groundwater management zones within
 the Santa Ana Region.
                                                                         CONTENTS                             SPRING 06
   As water agencies throughout the Santa Ana
                                                            Pg. 1.....Board Proposes Imported Water Discharge Requirements
 Region look for ways to increase water supply relia-
 bility, particularly during drought, conjunctive use       Pg. 2....   Riverside Students Learn About Ice Cream, Bugs and Water
 projects are increasingly the answer. AGWA member
                                                            Pg. 3.... New Huell Howser Series “California’s Water”Airs on PBS
 agency Western Municipal Water District is just one
 of many agencies in the region with conjunctive use        Pg. 4....   Excess Water Benefits Kern County Recharge Operations
 projects—in our case, the Riverside-Corona Feeder—
                                                            Pg. 5.... Joseph Kuebler Appointed to EMWD Board
 that are dependent on our ability to recharge import-
 ed supplies in wet years for use in dry.                   Pg. 5....   News Drops
   The Regional Board maintains in its staff report on
                                                            Pg. 6....   OCWD Repairs Wetlands
 the proposed order that “...before given the increased
 number and magnitude of the water recharge proj-           Pg. 7....   WRD Awards “Women of Water” Proclamations
 ects being contemplated, and in view of the extensive
 commitments that have been and will be made by
                                                            Comments, story suggestions and articles are encouraged.
 dischargers and other stakeholders in the Region to        Please call: (714) 785-0599
 develop and implement the new TDS and nitrate-             Or e-mail:
 nitrogen objectives, it is appropriate and in fact         Visit the AGWA website at:

                                                                   N O T E S    F R O M   T H E   U N D E R G R O U N D    Page 1
notes from the

  ASSOCIATION OF GROUND WATER AGENCIES NEWSLETTER                                                      Spring 2006

Riverside Students
Learn About Ice Cream, Bugs and Water                                                  Continued from page 1

       ore than 50 students from John    California, Riverside’s Entomology             with a monitoring plan. Further,
M      F. Kennedy Elementary School
 in Riverside spent a spring morning
                                         Department led the students in dis-
                                         cussion on garden-friendly insects.
                                                                                        dischargers must demonstrate that
                                                                                        the project is consistent with the
 playing with bugs and eating ice        The students ended their environ-              applicable maximum benefit pro-
 cream, all while learning about         mental morning by releasing thou-              grams and commitments identified
 water. It was all part of AGWA mem-     sands of ladybugs up into the                  in the Basin Plan. The Regional
 ber agency Western Municipal Water      Riverside sky.                                 Board staff would then determine
                                                                                        whether or not to authorize a dis-
                                                                                        charge letter. If a proposed project
                                                                                        were not consistent with the maxi-
                                                                                        mum benefit program, Regional
                                                                                        board staff would recommend
                                                                                        wastewater discharge requirements
                                                                                        that require compliance with the
                                                                                        antidegradation TDS and nitrate-
                                                                                        nitrogen water quality objectives.
                                                                                          Agencies in the Santa Ana region
                                                                                        have demonstrated their commit-
                                                                                        ment to protecting groundwater
                                                                                        through participation in various
                                                                                        studies and monitoring programs,
                                                                                        along with millions of dollars spent
                                                                                        on projects such as desalters and
                                                                                        the Santa Ana Regional Interceptor,
                                                                                        an industrial brineline constructed
                                                                                        by local water agencies, that has
                                                                                        removed thousands of pounds of
                                                                                        salt from the watershed.
 District’s Earth Day celebration at        “Creating ice cream treats that               Further, agencies will be asking
 Landscapes Southern California          actually teach about water is a                the Regional Board to engage in a
 StyleSM, the District’s outdoor water   super way to engage students,”                 collaborative process with the vari-
 conservation education center.          says Melodie Johnson, Western’s                ous stakeholders to develop an
   The two classrooms of fifth           public information officer. “That              alternative method to address
 graders began their journey             coupled with the environmentally               their concerns.
 through the garden by building and      friendly insect information and                  We question whether the order
 devouring an Edible Aquifer, ice        ladybug release really offers a fun            proposed by the Regional Board
 cream concoctions that taught           yet educational way to celebrate               would bring any added groundwa-
 them about how water travels            Earth Day.”                                    ter protection.
 through the layers of Earth, pools         Western Municipal Water District
 in underground basins or aquifers       provides water supply, wastewater              John Rossi is general manager of
 and can potentially be polluted dur-    disposal and water resource man-               Western Municipal Water District
 ing this process by a variety of        agement to the public in a safe, reli-         and currently serves as president
 human activities. Next, graduate        able, environmentally sensitive and            of AGWA. He can be reached at
 students from the University of         financially responsible manner.      

                                                                      N O T E S   F R O M   T H E   U N D E R G R O U N D   Page 2
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  ASSOCIATION OF GROUND WATER AGENCIES NEWSLETTER                                                    Spring 2006

New Huell Howser Series
“California’s Water” Airs on Local PBS Stations
      first-of-its-kind public television series produced
 A    by Huell Howser and partly underwritten by sev-
 eral AGWA member agencies, including Orange
                                                             District, Howser visits the
                                                             Sacramento-San Joaquin
                                                             River Delta by boat and
 County Water District and Eastern and Western               gets a first-hand view of
 Municipal Water Districts, explores California’s water      the important but vulner-
 resources. Airing statewide on PBS stations,                able system of levees
 “California’s Water” highlights the complex system of       that protects farmland,
 natural and man-made features that has allowed              homes, infrastructure and
 growing communities, productive farms, industry and         the water supplies for 23
 ecosystems to co-exist in a state that receives little or   million Californians.
 no rain for months at a time.                                 “From the very begin-
   Segments began airing in April and will continue to       ning, water has been a
 roll out over the next several months on all 13 PBS         critical, colorful and controversial part of life in our
 stations. The first segment of the "California’s Water"                          state,“ said Howser. “And obvious-
                                                                                  ly, we all know how important water
                                                                                  is. But I guarantee you that most of
                                                                                  us have absolutely no idea where
                                                                                  our water comes from or how it
                                                                                  gets to us. The series will set out to
                                                                                  answer these questions.”
                                                                                     In each “California’s Water” seg-
                                                                                  ment, Howser visits features of
                                                                                  California’s water system and gets a
                                                                                  first-hand look at various water
                                                                                  management tools and challenges
                                                                                  facing the state’s water future.
                                                                                  Known for his enthusiasm and his
                                                                                  down-to-earth style, Howser hosts
                                                                                  the long-running PBS series
                                                                                  “California’s Gold” as well as sever-
                                                                                  al other human-interest programs.
                                                                                     An updated list of airdates and
                                                                                  times is available on
                                                                         The series, under-
                                                                                  written by members of the
                                                                                  Association of California Water
 public television series focused on climate change.         Agencies (ACWA), covers issues identified in ACWA’s
 The second episode, focusing on the Sacramento-San          policy document, “No Time to Waste: A Blueprint for
 Joaquin River Delta, began airing in May on PBS sta-        California Water.” The document, released in 2005,
 tions statewide.                                            recommends a suite of actions and investments to
   In the segment, sponsored by the Castaic Lake             ensure California has the water supply system it will
 Water Agency and the Santa Clara Valley Water               need in future decades.

                                                                    N O T E S   F R O M   T H E   U N D E R G R O U N D   Page 3
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  ASSOCIATION OF GROUND WATER AGENCIES NEWSLETTER                                               Spring 2006

Excess Water Benefits Kern County Recharge Operations

    he improved water picture has provided wonderful     Article 21 water have been available for delivery to
T   recharge opportunities for AGWA member agency
Kern County. There is excess water available from
                                                         SWP contractors in 2006, but only 700,000 af were
                                                         requested. DWR estimates that actual delivery of
Friant Section 215 (located in Millerton Lake above      Article 21 water since January 1 has been 450,000 to
Fresno), and Article 21 water from the State Water       500,000 af and as of April 20, 2006, about 93,000 af
Project (SWP). Article 21 and Section 215 waters are     have been delivered to the Kern Fan banking projects
made available from the State and from federal proj-     during 2006.
ects when conditions warrant their release.                On the federal side, Section 215 water was avail-
  Article 21 water is made possible when the             able Jan. 10 through Jan. 26, 2006, and became
Department of Water Resources (DWR) projects that it     available again March 25 through April 3, 2006,
is imminent San Luis Reservoir will fill, and water is   when the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation declared the
plentiful in the Delta allowing pumping of Article 21    availability of Friant-Kern floodwater. Approximately
water to SWP contractors. Article 21 water has been      32,000 af of Section 215 water were recharged. To
available since Jan. 1, 2006, and continues to be        prevent water from being spilled, it was released
offered through May 10, 2006. Since supplies have        from the Friant-Kern Canal near Coffee Road into the
been much higher than demand, all Article 21 water       Kern River and various local water districts and
offered during this period has been on an unallocated    banking project facilities, where it could seep into
basis. Approximately 1.6 million acre-feet (af) of       the groundwater basin.

                                                               N O T E S   F R O M   T H E   U N D E R G R O U N D   Page 4
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 Joseph Kuebler
 Appointed to EMWD Board
                          oseph J. Kuebler,
                    J     AGWA member
                       agency Eastern Municipal
                                                  • A wet spring means California water contractors
                                                      will get all the water they need this year. In fact,
                       Water District’s second        California has surplus water for sale. The snowpack
                       treasurer during its 56-       statewide is at 172 percent of normal, thanks to a
                       year history, was unani-       March-April period that was the second wettest in
                       mously appointed to fill       the northern Sierra since 1921. In fact, the state
                       the unexpired term of          Department of Water Resources has boosted its
                       Richard R. Hall, who           allocation to State Water Project contractors from
 announced his resignation in April. The              80 percent to 100 percent. It’s the first time since
 unexpired term of Director Hall and the new          the water project's founding in 1968 that contrac-
 director will end on Jan. 2, 2007. Voters on         tors have asked for full contractual deliveries and
 November 7 will then select the director for         will get those requests. The 100 percent allocation
 the next four years.                                 amounts to 4.1 million acre-feet of water. The
   Mr. Kuebler will represent EMWD’s                  largest customer is MWD, which uses half this
 Division 2, which includes Temecula, a por-          total, followed by AGWA member agency the Kern
 tion of Murrieta and the unincorporated              County Water Agency, which takes 25 percent.
 area of Murrieta Hot Springs. Appointed          •   One of the world's largest cheese companies paid
 EMWD treasurer in 1996, Kuebler, of                  California water regulators a $3 million fine for pol-
 Temecula, is vice-president of Kuebler,              luting water for years by illegally flushing waste-
 Prudhomme & Co., CPAs. The firm serves               water from its plant. The payment by Hilmar
 more than 1,000 clients in the Inland Empire         Cheese Co. is the largest fine ever paid to the
 and has annual revenues exceeding $2.5               Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control
 million. He is affiliated with numerous busi-        Board, water officials said. Most of the money will
 ness and professional organizations, and             fund an environmental study into salts from food
 has been a guest speaker at the annual tax           processing plants that taint groundwater. The
 conference of the California Society of CPAs,        board had sought a $4-million fine after regulators
 and is a former tax conference chairman.             said the company had violated state water laws for
   As EMWD treasurer, Kuebler is presently            nearly 16 years.
 chair of ACWA Region 9, which includes           •   More than 100 chemical plants on the banks of
 water agencies in Riverside, San                     China's rivers pose safety hazards that could jeop-
 Bernardino and Imperial Counties. He has             ardize drinking water and spread contamination
 also testified before the state Assembly on          widely, China's environment chief has said. The
 behalf of Metropolitan Water District on             announcement, based on a government survey of
 agriculture water rates. As a member of the          the nation's 21,000 riverside chemical plants,
 Monday Morning Group, the Valley Group               amounts to a sobering acknowledgment by the
 and the Murrieta/Temecula Group, he has              Beijing government that rapid industrial develop-
 carried or chaired water issues to elected           ment has outstripped the nation's ability to regulate
 representatives in Washington D.C. and               environmental hazards. An article discussing
 Sacramento.                                          China’s water contamination crisis appears in the
   The board announced that Kuebler would             Jan. 25, 2006, edition of the Los Angeles Times.
 remain as treasurer until Dec. 1, 2006, allow-
 ing the District time to find a replacement.

                                                         N O T E S   F R O M   T H E   U N D E R G R O U N D   Page 5
notes from the


 OCWD Repairs Wetlands
 Damaged By High Water Flows From The Santa Ana River
    ast year’s storms were a wel-       damage and sediment deposition            Santa Ana River flows to further
L   come surprise for Orange
County’s groundwater basin, but
                                        occurred in the western- and north-
                                        ernmost ponds. The river was
                                                                                  improve the quality of the water
                                                                                  that replenishes Orange County’s
their effect was devastating to         moved back into its original chan-        groundwater basin. The existing
AGWA member agency Orange
County Water District’s wetlands.
The high flows coming from the
Santa Ana River ravaged through
the Prado Basin, bringing with it
debris and sediment that blocked
the river. The river jumped its
banks, flowed through the
District's wetlands and dumped
more than 500,000 cubic yards of
sediment into the wetlands facili-
ty. The flood damage rendered
most of the wetlands inoperable.
   Thanks to a grant from the
Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) for the repair of the
flood-damaged facilities, OCWD was
awarded approximately $2.9 million
for wetlands restoration, which is 75
percent of the total reconstruction
costs. Additionally, the California
Office of Emergency Services (OES)
is expected to fund 75 percent of
the remaining reconstruction costs,
or approximately $750,000.
Reconstruction includes restoring       nel and out of the Prado Wetlands         Prado Wetland treats half of the
the river to a course that does not     in February 2006. Approximately           water that comprises the Santa Ana
threaten the Prado Wetlands,            60,000 cubic yards of the invasive,       River. The District is evaluating
rebuilding wetland levees, installing   non-native Arundo donax’s debris          additional wetland projects on other
culverts, replacing damaged canal       were removed from the existing            tributary streams to the Santa Ana
gates; and redistributing 500,000       river channel before the river could      River to achieve 100 percent treat-
cubic yards of sediment and debris      be turned back to its historical          ment. Development of new wet-
in the wetland ponds.                   course. The reconstruction of the         lands requires extensive planning,
   Redesign of the Prado Wetlands       Prado Wetlands is scheduled to be         permitting and coordination—as
was initiated at the end of October     complete by late 2007.                    well as outside financial support.
2005. Surveying and visual obser-         As part of its long-term goals,         The district continues to seek grants
vation of the damaged wetlands          OCWD is committed to providing            and other funding sources to con-
have shown that the majority of the     wetlands treatment to all of the          struct additional wetlands.

                                                                 N O T E S   F R O M   T H E   U N D E R G R O U N D   Page 6
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Water Replenishment District
of Southern California Awards Six Women “Women of Water” Proclamations
 n celebration of Women’s Awareness Month, AGWA
Imember agency the Water Replenishment District of
Southern California (WRD)’s board of directors has
                                                           that California’s most precious resource is protected is
                                                           tremendous and I am honored that our board will rec-
                                                           ognize her for her efforts,” stated WRD Board
awarded proclamations to five women who have               President Willard H. Murray.
made a positive impact in the water industry and on          Green of Santa Monica is being recognized for her
environmental awareness.                                   pioneering efforts to protect the Los Angeles and San
  WRD recognized Congresswoman Grace Napolitano,           Gabriel area watersheds and beaches. Her grassroots
Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, Los Angeles and San           activism gave birth to the Los Angeles & San Gabriel
Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council founding board            Rivers Watershed Council, the mission of which is to
member Dorothy Green, Park Water Company general           preserve, restore and enhance the many beneficial
manager Jeanne Marie Bruno and Compton Unified             uses of the Los Angeles River and San Gabriel River
School District Board Member Satra D. Zurita.              watersheds eco-system through education, research,

    WRD’s board of directors has awarded proclamations to five women who have
    made a positive impact in the water industry and on environmental awareness.

   Congresswoman Napolitano is an avid promoter of         planning and mediation. “Ms. Green’s continued work
conservation, water recycling, desalination and sound      as a member of the Los Angeles & San Gabriel Rivers
groundwater management and storage programs to             Watershed Council and numerous other environmen-
address southern California’s need for adequate water      tally focused endeavors speak volumes of her dedica-
quality and supply. WRD Board Member Pat Acosta, in        tion to our waterways and environment,” said WRD
nominating the congresswoman said, “Rep.                   Board Member Rob Kat Herman.
Napolitano‘s legislative efforts in the areas of a water     Bruno, general manager of Park Water Company in
management plan for California, protection of the frag-    Downey, Calif., is being recognized for her work in
ile ecosystem in the Bay-Delta and promotion of the        water quality protection and overall water policy
use of advanced technologies, all speak to her leader-     efforts. Bruno is one of the few women general man-
ship in promoting sound water policy for our state.”       agers in the water industry. “Ms. Bruno stands as a
   Congresswoman Sanchez is being recognized for           beacon to all leaders in water policy,” stated WRD
support of clean and recycled water programs and           General Manager Robb Whitaker.
securing funds for a study of the Los Angeles Basin          Zurita, Compton Unified School District Board
Watershed. The study was designed to explore ways          Member, is being recognized for her leadership in K-12
to capture rainwater runoff in Los Angeles and Orange      education. WRD Board Member Albert Robles praised
Counties, to increase the supply of clean drinking         Ms. Zurita for “promoting the need for sound water-
water, reduce ocean pollution and improve neighbor-        shed and environmental education for students.”
hoods, mini-parks and habitat areas. In addition, Rep.       Doud, assistant controller for the Water Replenishment
Sanchez sponsored legislation to ensure the safety of      District of Southern California, is being recognized for
California’s Public Lands and Rivers. The legislation,     her efforts in shepherding WRD to the fiscally prudent
H.R. 3325, was titled “Southern California Wild            agency it is today. Doud is part of a team of staff mem-
Heritage Act of 2004” and designates specified lands       bers that led WRD to receiving the prestigious California
and rivers as wilderness areas protected under the         Society of Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO)
National Wilderness Preservation System.                   Meritorious Award for outstanding budget presentation
“Congresswoman Sanchez’s leadership in ensuring            and process for its 05/06 budget document.

                                                                 N O T E S   F R O M   T H E   U N D E R G R O U N D   Page 7

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