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RAP Final

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									Poso Creek IRWM Plan Regional Water Management Group


Region Acceptance Process
Component of the IRWM Program Guidelines


Submitted to:
Department of Water Resources
Division of Planning and Local Assistance



April 29, 2009
                                       POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




Table of Contents



1   Submitting Entity                                                                1

2   RWMG Structure and Roles                                                         2
    2.1 RWMG Composition                                                             2
    2.2 Stakeholders’ Statutory Authority and Roles                                  4
        2.2.1 Local Agencies                                                         4
        2.2.2 Other Participants                                                     4
    2.3 Working Relationships                                                        5

3   Stakeholder Involvement                                                          7
    3.1   Initial Stakeholder Outreach during Plan Development                       7
    3.2   Plan Implementation to include Stakeholders and Assist DACs                8

4   Public Outreach                                                                  11

5   Governance                                                                       12
    5.1  Structure and Purpose                                                       12
    5.2  Decision-Making Process                                                     13
         5.2.1 IRWM Plan Goals and Objectives                                        14
         5.2.2 Prioritizing Projects                                                 14
         5.2.3 Financing RWMG and IRWMP activities                                   16
         5.2.4 Implementing Plan Activities                                          17
         5.2.5 Making Future Revisions to the IRWM Plan                              17
         5.2.6 Hiring and Managing Consultants                                       17
    5.3  Stakeholder Representation                                                  17
    5.4  Collaborative Water Management Portfolio                                    18

6   IRWM Regional Boundary                                                           19
    6.1  Determination of the Region Boundary                                        19
    6.2  Relationship of Region Boundary to Water Management Integration             21

7   Background/History                                                               22
    7.1  History                                                                     22
         7.1.1 Historical Integrated Regional Water Management Related to the
                Region                                                               23
         7.1.2 Recent Water Management and Planning Activities Related to
                the Region                                                           24




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                                           POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




              7.1.3   Other IRWM Planning Activities within the Tulare Basin
                      Funding Area                                                       26
       7.2    Issues and Conflicts                                                       27
              7.2.1 Physical and Institutional Issues and Needs of the Region            28
              7.2.2 Water Management Conflicts, Issues and Needs of Member
                      Districts of the Poso Creek IRWMP Region                           29
       7.3    Regional Water Related Components                                          30

8      Adjacent IRWM Regions                                                             34
       8.1   Relationship and Coordination                                               34
       8.2   Region Overlap, Voids, or Exclusions                                        37
       8.3   Water Management Differences Between Regions                                37

9      Participants in RAP Interview                                                     39


Tables (follows Section text)
      2-1    Poso Creek Regional Water Management Group
      2-2    Local Agencies within the Poso Creek Region with Statutory Authority over
             Water Supply or Water Management in the Region
      2-3    “Stakeholder” within the Poso Creek Region who are not RWMG members or
             Local Agencies
      5-1    Operational Objectives Related to Water Management Strategies
      5-2    Project Pre-Screening and Ranking
      5-3    Poso Creek IRWM Plan Scoring Criteria


Figures (follows Section text)
      2-1    Poso Creek Region
      2-2    Surface Water Supplies and Major Infrastructure in the Poso Creek Region
      6-1    Region Boundary
      6-2    Water Management Agencies
      6-3    Watershed Management Areas
      6-4    Groundwater Subbasins
      6-5    RWQCB Region 5 boundary
      6-6    Flood Zones
      6-7    Physical Features
      6-8    Surface Water
      6-9    Water Infrastructure
      6-10 Impaired Water Bodies
      6-11 Population
      6-12 Critical Habitat Areas




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                                         POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




      6-13   Disadvantaged Areas
      7-1    Poso Creek Region and Tulare Lake Hydrologic Region

Attachments
      A    Poso Creek RWMG Meeting Minutes, Attendance Sheet and Agenda
      B    Letter from Self Help Enterprise Regarding Disadvantage
           Communities/Stakeholders
      C    Letter Invitation for Stakeholder Participation
      D    Synopsis
      E    Poso Creek IRWMP Brochure
      F    Poso Creek IRWMP Summary of Findings, Conclusions and Plan
           Implementation Brochure
      G    Poso Creek IRWMP Memorandum of Understanding
      H    Project Scoring Criteria
      I    Poso Creek IRWMP Disadvantaged Communities
      J    Joint Powers Agreement for the Tulare Lake Hydrologic Region Water-
           Related Entities
      K    Letters to the Kern IRWMP Executive Committee




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                                            POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




1     Submitting Entity


      Semitropic Water Storage District - lead Agency for the Poso Creek IRWM Plan
      Paul Oshel, District Engineer - Contact Person and Chairman of the Poso Creek
      Regional Water Management Group
      1101 Central Avenue
      Wasco, CA 93280
      poshel@semitropic.com
      (661) 758-5113 phone
      (661) 758-3219 fax

The Poso Creek Regional Water Management Group (RWMG) holds a noticed, public
meeting on the first Tuesday of each month at the offices of Semitropic WSD. The RWMG
discussed the Region Acceptance Process (RAP) as an agenda item at their February, March,
and April monthly implementation meetings. Action was taken at the March meeting to
authorize for Paul Oshel, Semitropic WSD, to prepare the RAP materials and to submit them
to the DWR on behalf of the RWMG. Semitropic WSD has served as the lead Agency
during the Plan development and for implementation since Plan adoption.

       As stated in the minutes of the March Poso Creek IRWM Plan implementation
       meeting,
       Item 8c of the Action Items
       Prepare items for DWR Regional Acceptance Review

At the April 7, 2009 monthly meeting, the RWMG again recommended and approved Paul
Oshel, Semitropic WSD, to lead the preparation of the RAP materials for the DWR submittal
with the assistance of GEI Consultants. The RWMG agreed to review and comment on the
materials prior to the April 29, 2009 submittal date.

A copy of the March Minutes, an example of a meeting attendance sheet, and the April
Agenda are provided as Attachment A.




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                                                  POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




2      RWMG Structure and Roles


2.1     RWMG Composition
Identify RWMG members, including their role in the RWMG process, regional water management
responsibilities, and the level of IRWM participation. For each entity, state if they have adopted, plan
to adopt, or will not adopt the IRWM plan.

The Poso Creek Regional Water Management Group (RWMG) has seven1 members; six
agricultural water districts and one resource conservation district. Each member is listed in
Table 2.1, which also indicates the basis for the statutory authority for water supply and/or
water management. In particular, the RWMG includes four types of special districts, two
Water Storage Districts, two Water Districts, two Irrigation Districts, and one Resource
Conservation District. Each member has participated throughout the development of the
Plan (through regular monthly meetings); each has formally (by action of their governing
Boards) adopted the Plan (July 2007); and each continues to participate during the ongoing
implementation phase (also through regular monthly meetings). The member representatives
responsible for maintaining the continuity through the IRWM process are listed below, along
with their affiliation:


        Paul M. Oshel
        District Engineer
        Semitropic Water Storage District

        David R. Ansolabehere
        General Manager
        Cawelo Water District

        Dale R. Brogan
        General Manager
        Delano-Earlimart Irrigation District

        Steven C. Dalke
        General Manager
        Kern-Tulare Water District




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                                                      POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




        Dana S. Munn
        Engineer-Manager
        North Kern Water Storage District

        Brian Hockett
        District Manager
        North West Kern Resource Conservation District (NWKRCD)

        Jerry L. Ezell
        General Manager
        Shafter-Wasco Irrigation District


The organized area of each member is illustrated on Figure 2-1, and totals about 451,000
acres out of a total of about 585,000 acres within the boundary of the Poso Creek Region.
The remaining acreage includes about 58,000 acres within Southern San Joaquin MUD2 and
76,000 acres outside of any organized district. It is noted that, following extensive public
education and a landowner election, each district was formed by and for the benefit of all
landowners within the organized area of the district. Long after the original organization
efforts, these districts continue to be governed by boards of directors composed exclusively
of landowners within each of the respective districts3.

Table 2.1 indicates the water supplies which are managed by each of the RWMG members,
along with the regional conveyance facilities which are used to import SWP and CVP surface
water supplies. Figure 2-2 illustrates this same information. Additional information
regarding each district can be found in Chapter 2 of the Plan. The RWMG members are
responsible for all of the surface water which is brought into the Region, with the exception
of the CVP-Friant water which is delivered by Southern San Joaquin MUD and the water
supplies which are secured by the federal government and delivered to the Kern National
Wildlife Refuge. It is noteworthy that these surface water supplies are the principal source of
recharge to the underlying groundwater, and all uses in the Region rely in whole or in part on
groundwater.




1
  Originally, there were eight members; however, two of the districts have since merged into one. In particular,
Kern-Tulare Water District and Rag Gulch Water District are now collectively referred to as Kern-Tulare Water
District.
2
  Southern San Joaquin Municipal Utility District was invited to be an active member of the RWMG; however,
to date, they have chosen not to participate in that capacity.
3
  Collectively, forty-one landowners serve as district directors for the RWMG members.




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                                                      POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




2.2     Stakeholders’ Statutory Authority and Roles
A listing of the local agencies within this region with statutory authority over water supply or water
management, and provide the basis and nature of that statutory authority even if they are not part of
the RWMG. For the purposes of this document “statutory authority over water supply or water
management” may include, but is not limited to, water supply, water quality management,
wastewater treatment, flood management/control, or storm water management.


2.2.1 Local Agencies


In addition to the RWMG members identified in Table 2.1, Table 2.2 provides a listing of
other local agencies within the Poso Creek Region with statutory authority over water supply
or water management in the Region4. Five areas of authority are indicated and those
applicable to each agency have been flagged. About one-half of these agencies are cities, all
of which rely exclusively on pumped groundwater for their M&I water needs. As noted in
the table, the cities5 have become active during the Plan implementation phase, as evidenced
by their participation in some of the regular monthly meetings of the RWMG. Community
concerns and projects have been discussed by the RWMG and the IRWMP has been
modified to reflect those concerns. Table 2.2 also includes relevant comments respecting
each agency; typically regarding their link to local and regional water management and
planning.

2.2.2 Other Participants

A listing of the other participants such as agencies, stakeholders, and others included in the RWMG
and describe their role in developing and implementing the IRWM Plan.

“Stakeholders” who were not included in either Table 2.1 or Table 2.2, are listed in Table
2.3. As noted in the table, several of these stakeholders have become active during the Plan
implementation phase. Similar to Table 2.2, relevant comments regarding each stakeholder
are also noted.




4
  The final guidelines for the Region Acceptance Process indicate that “…statutory authority over water supply
or water management may include, but is not limited to, water supply, water quality management, wastewater
treatment, flood management/control, or storm water management”.
5
  All of the cities within the Region qualify as “economically-disadvantaged”.




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                                               POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




2.3    Working Relationships

At first glance, the existence of several water districts within the Region could suggest that
water resources management within the Region might be fairly parochial. However, the
underlying groundwater does not “know” any parochial boundaries; rather, the common
groundwater basin provides a common denominator or link between all of the districts. In
fact, each district was formed for the same purpose --- to bring surface water into the Region
to mitigate a long-term decline in groundwater levels and thereby maintain the viability of
irrigated agriculture. Accordingly, they have much more in common than they have
differences. As a result, a fairly complex system of exchanges between the districts has
evolved, which includes shared facilities. These water resource management practices are
too numerous to mention; some are long-term arrangements, while many more are year-to-
year, i.e., simply doing what makes sense in “real time”.

While perhaps too numerous to list, a couple of examples are illustrative of the intra-regional
cooperation and sharing that has taken place. In the 1970s, Cawelo WD was formulating a
project to import SWP water to its area. To convey the water from the California Aqueduct
to the District, Cawelo WD participated in the construction of the Cross Valley Canal;
however, in lieu of constructing a new conveyance facility from the Cross Valley Canal to
Cawelo WD, a connection was made to North Kern WSD’s main conveyance canal, along
with improvements to that canal. Early on, North Kern realized that facilitating the
importation of surface water to neighboring districts in the Region was a “yes-yes” deal. In
another example, Shafter-Wasco ID and Semitropic WSD shared the cost of constructing an
interconnection between their respective distribution systems in the 1990s which has been
used to facilitate water banking and exchanges between the two districts. Like so many
improvements/connections such as this, it has been used to facilitate the exchange of water
with other districts as well.

As noted previously, it was a long-term decline in groundwater levels that provided the
impetus for the formation of individual districts and the importation of surface water supplies
to mitigate the decline. It is the threat of a resumption of a long-term decline that has
brought these same districts together to integrate their assets --- both water supplies and
infrastructure --- in an effort to mitigate an anticipated decline in groundwater levels. With a
common asset --- the underlying groundwater --- and a common enemy --- reductions and/or
the threat of reductions in their respective surface water supplies --- the RWMG has been
meeting on a regular monthly basis since the integrated planning commenced in January
2006. While many cooperative arrangements to better manage available water supplies have
been made in the past within the Region, this regular monthly forum, and the exchange of
information that takes place, can be credited with water management actions that likely
would not have otherwise occurred (some of these actions are highlighted in Section 7).




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                                             POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




Two key working relationships have developed as part of the monthly meeting forum during
Plan implementation; one with Self-Help Enterprises and the other with the Tulare Basin
Wildlife Partners. Information regarding both of these organizations is included in
Attachment B.

Farming is the economy of the Region … The cities depend on farming … Farming depends
on irrigation … Irrigation depends in whole or in part on pumped groundwater … Recharge
of the underlying groundwater depends on the delivery of surface water to and within the
Region … The delivery of surface water has depended on the RWMG members and Southern
San Joaquin MUD … Each of these special districts was formed by and for the benefit of all
landowners (including cities) within their respective organized areas, and they continue to be
governed by landowners in open, regularly scheduled, public meetings … Creation of each
district was a coordinated effort conducted by the landowners in the area responding to their
water management needs. The formation of each district was effectively – though not in
name -- the beginning of the Integrated Regional Water Management planning process in the
Region, which has continued as needs and supplies change.




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                                              POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




3     Stakeholder Involvement


3.1    Initial Stakeholder Outreach during Plan Development

A description of how stakeholders, including DACs, are identified and invited to participate.
List the procedures, processes, or structures that promote access to and collaboration with
people or agencies with diverse views within the region. Discuss how the outreach efforts
address the diversity of water management issues, geographical representation, and
stakeholder interests in the region.

The process of getting more involvement by stakeholders has. During Plan development, the
initial outreach to stakeholders, including DACs, was accomplished by directly contacting
the potential participants that the RWMG had identified, such as neighboring water districts
and communities by phone and mail and by publishing notice of the public planning meeting
in the local paper. Since the Poso Creek Region is predominately agricultural land use with
several economically-disadvantaged communities and some environmental water users, the
approach relied upon relationships between the community water system manager and the
corresponding water district manager. All communities who were interested stakeholders
were encouraged to work with the agricultural district in which they were located and were
invited to the planning meetings. The agricultural district served as a “Sponsor” for the
community stakeholder entities’ interest in the Plan. In addition to the communities, Kern
County, Buena Vista Water Storage District and Kern County Water Agency were invited by
letter and phone call to participate in the planning meetings as stakeholders.

Portions of Chapter 10 and Appendix E of the Poso Creek IRWM Plan are provided herein as
Attachment C and describe the initial stakeholder and public involvement process. In
addition to calling and mailing potential interested stakeholders, several Public Meetings
were held during the Planning process. Included in the Public Meeting Notices was the
schedule for the regular IRWMP monthly meetings. Every one of the communities within
the Region is considered economically-disadvantaged based on their median household
income. Each of these communities relies on the same common groundwater basin for their
drinking water supply as the RWMG districts. It was understood by the RWMG that these
DACs have limited economic resources to draw upon to develop an IRWM Plan. It was also
recognized that any positive benefits resulting from implementing water management
measures in the Plan Area will have a direct positive benefit to the water supplies of these
DACs.




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                                             POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




Surface water delivered for irrigation and/or recharge benefits the DACs both directly and
indirectly. The direct benefits come from improvements to groundwater levels by less basin
pumping and direct replenishment of the aquifer. Indirect benefits come in the form of
maintaining a vibrant agricultural economy which provides on-farm jobs and service industry
jobs which provide an economic base for the communities. The common projects that bring
these water users together in the Poso Creek Region are the use of groundwater for the
DAC’s drinking water supply, the disposal of wastewater effluent on agricultural land, and
the conveyance of environmental water to the Kern National Wildlife Refuge and private
duck clubs. Building on the established relationships of the users within the common
groundwater basin, the RWMG modified their approach to stakeholder involvement,
including an approach to target the needs of the DACs in the Region, as part of their on-
going implementation meetings. Self-Help Enterprises has been a key in this process.

The Poso Creek RWMG meetings were held monthly. Notices and Agendas were sent out to
members and stakeholders using e-mail. The meeting notices were also posted at the
Semitropic Water Storage District Office which was where the majority of the meetings were
held. In addition, DWR, California Department of Fish and Game and U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation were initially invited to attend and are updated periodically with status reports
and plan revisions.


3.2    Plan Implementation to include Stakeholders and Assist
       DACs

Explain how the IRWM region is inclusive and utilizes a collaborative, multi-stakeholder
process that provides mechanisms to assist DAC; address water management issues; and
develop integrated, multi-benefit, regional solutions that incorporate environmental
stewardship to implement future IRWM plans.

Since Plan adoption, the RWMG used the mechanism of holding monthly Plan
implementation meetings to build relationships with stakeholders and increase the
inclusiveness and collaborative efforts that was found successful during the Plan
development. The RWMG added several stakeholders and interested participants, including,
the Tulare Lake Wildlife Partners (TLWP) (a listing of the members of the TLWP is included
in Attachment B). Some agricultural district managers had already established relationships
with the DAC and environmental water users within the Region and others did not. One
agricultural district remained a non-RWMG member; therefore, the cities within that district
were without a RWMG “sponsor”. The framework of holding the monthly Plan
implementation meetings provided an opportunity to continue to build relationships, which
was successful. As with the Plan meetings, the monthly implementation meetings are




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                                               POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




noticed to all members, stakeholders (including County and local governments), and several
State and Federal Agencies.

Continuing with their stakeholder outreach efforts, the RWMG reached an understanding of
the needs for all of the DACs in the Region by forming a working relationship with Dave
Warner of Self-Help Enterprises (a letter from Self-Help Enterprises documenting this
relationship is included in Attachment B). Self-Help Enterprises has cataloged the DACs’
drinking water and wastewater issues and needs throughout Kern County. This provided an
organized list of projects and contacts for the RWMG without burdening the communities
with added planning expenses. The RWMG continues to rely on and support the work of
Self-Help Enterprises to effectively coordinate activity with any community who is unable to
participate in the IRWM planning process on their own. Resources for some communities to
participate are just not available locally. The RWMG has adopted a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) that allows for a spokesperson for the participating parties to vote as a
RWMG member, at no cost to the participants.

The RWMG encouraged the communities within the Poso Creek Region to become paying
members of the adjoining Kern IRWMP; the RWMG has also been successful in
collaborating with these same communities. The Poso Creek Region is associated with the
“North Group” of cities of the Kern IRWMP. As the Kern IRWMP formed during 2008, the
Poso Creek RWMG offered all of their developed Plan information for use in the Kern
IRWMP and recommended that all of the DACs within the Poso Creek Region join the Kern
IRWMP to maintain their options with regard to the pursuit of grant opportunities

Furthermore, since the overwhelming finding and conclusion of the Poso Creek IRWM Plan
is that the common groundwater levels are projected to decrease due to the declining
reliability of surface water supplies delivered into the Region, the need for collaboration and
stakeholder outreach efforts are equally important with entities outside of the Poso Creek
Region as with those within the Region. The Poso Creek IRWM Plan helps provide a
regional solution for the Friant member districts and any SWP contractors who need to re-
regulate supplies using groundwater banking and exchange. It is clear that any water
management actions which are implemented in the Region will have limited long-term
benefits until a long-term solution to the Delta issues is in place.

The Poso Creek RWMG has been coordinating with several other IRWMP planning efforts
which are underway in and adjacent to the Tulare Basin Funding Area as further described in
Section 7.1.3. While each of these groups (listed in Section 7.1.3) is developing planning
groups of their own, it is important to recognize that the Poso Creek RWMG has evolved into
a functional group that includes stakeholders/interested parties. The “final” boundaries
selected for the Region resulted from outreach to the neighboring areas who also wanted to




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                                             POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




maintain their own identities. This left the Poso Creek RWMG as the logical collection of
districts and stakeholders which can and has made effective and timely decisions.




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                                                POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




4       Public Outreach


A description of the process being used that makes the public both part of and aware of the
regional management and IRWM efforts. Discuss ways for the public to gain access to the
RWMG and IRWM process for information and how they could provide input.


The RWMG holds a public meeting on the first Tuesday of the month that includes providing
a 1-800 call-in line for entities not able to participate in person. The meeting agenda and the
past meeting minutes are sent out (during the week prior to the meeting date) to an e-mail list
of interested stakeholders and participants. Meeting agendas are posted at the Semitropic
district office and the district has recently updated its website to include a place for the public
to download the meeting agendas and minutes. All meetings allow time for public comment.

Since Plan initiation, the point of contact for the Poso Creek IRWM Plan has remained
consistent; Paul Oshel of the Semitropic WSD. Paul’s contact information is on all
correspondence items, including the Poso Creek RWMG letterhead. As the RWMG lead
agency point of contact, Paul maintains a communication list and presents an implementation
activity list to the RWMG at each monthly meeting. An example of a monthly meeting
agenda, attendance sign-in sheet, and minutes are provided in Attachment A for your view.
Feedback from stakeholders who are unable to participate in the monthly meetings in person
or by phone have indicated they can obtain useful information about the Poso Creek IRWM
Plan activities by reading the Minutes. In addition to the regular meetings, several Public
Meetings were advertised in the local newspaper and were scheduled to provide for
opportunities for additional public input during development of the Plan.

The adopted Plan was made available to the public on a CD-ROM and by providing hard
copies of the Plan to the community libraries. Since Plan adoption, the RWMG has updated
their Plan summary and communication pieces and periodically created new communication
items for use in communication with the Public. The following items are included as
Attachments D, E, & F as examples used for public outreach:

       Plan Synopsis
       Plan Brochure
       Finding & Conclusions and Plan Implementation Brochure




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                                              POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




5     Governance


5.1    Structure and Purpose
A description of the RWMG governance structure and how it will facilitate the sustained
development of regional water management and the IRWM process, both now and beyond
the state grant IRWM funding programs.

Semitropic has served as the Lead Agency in the development of the Plan and was
responsible for all administrative reporting associated with the planning process, facilitated
the monthly meetings, and organized data exchanges among participants of the Plan. The
Plan was completed in July of 2007 and adopted by each member of the RWMG. As part of
Plan implementation, the RWMG and Participating Parties have continued to meet monthly
to coordinate implementation of the Plan’s water management strategies and objectives. The
RWMG has functioned under this shared interest to develop, adopt, and implement a Plan
and with Semitropic serving as the Lead Agency since inception.

As one of the Plan implementation action items, the RWMG formed a “Working Group” to
develop a governance document to formally identify the RWMG’s commitment to
participating in various regional planning efforts as a defined group. This working group
provided a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to the RWMG at the December,
2008 implementation meeting regarding governance structure. The draft MOU was reviewed
by each District’s Counsel, presented to their respective Board of Directors for their
consideration, and adopted by each Board by passing a resolution. A copy of the draft MOU
was provided to interested stakeholders. The process of adopting the MOU was completed in
April, 2009. The adopted MOU is provided herein as Attachment 5. The MOU will be sent
out to all stakeholders, and as stated in the MOU, a representative from the stakeholder group
will be elected to serve as a voting member of the RWMG. The RWMG is committed to
regional water management, and by implementing the MOU, it will help formalize the
group’s management actions.

The RWMG has worked very effectively together during the IRWM planning process and as
an implementation group. Over the last four years, the RWMG and the Plan Participants
have already realized benefits from the IRWM process. The RWMG is of a manageable size,
they share common interests and goals with key stakeholders, and they are well positioned to
continue with their Plan implementation, both now and beyond the state grant IRWM
funding programs.




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                                            POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




5.2    Decision-Making Process

Discuss how decisions are made. Identify the steps in which RWMG arrives at decisions and
how RWMG members participate in the decision-making process.

Because the RWMG is a group of manageable size, it is able to make decisions quickly at
their implementation meetings. Fundamentally, the process involves listening to each Plan
Participant, whether they are a paying RWMG member or an interested Stakeholder who is
“Sponsored” by a paying member, present their individual water management needs and
assets. Regional water management concepts and ideas are discussed openly at the monthly
meetings. If an action is needed that requires a decision by the RWMG at the monthly
implementation meeting, it can happen quickly by a vote. If the action requires more time
for discussion, the vote decision can be tabled until a future meeting. Action items are
identified at each monthly meeting and “Working Groups” are formed to accomplish these
tasks. Any non-paying Stakeholder or Interested Participant can serve on a Working Group,
along with the RWMG members. This process is now formalized as part of the MOU.

Examples of decisions that have happened quickly at the monthly meetings include:
       Accepting recommended modifications to the Poso Creek Region boundary to
          confirm with neighboring IRWM groups which are developing
       Identifying and selecting projects to submit for Federal and State grant
          applications
       Accepting revised or updated DAC projects into the Poso Creek IRWM Plan from
          Self-Help Enterprises, Inc.
       Integrating wildlife enhancement components into the Poso Creek IRWM Plan
          based on recommendations from Tulare Basin Wildlife Partners
       Approving cost-share agreements for financing RWMG activities related to
          implementing the Plan, making revisions to the Plan, and meeting DWR IRWM
          Planning Requirements
       Approving an MOU for Governance
       Deciding to participate in and sign the JPA for the Tulare Lake Basin Water-
          Related Entities




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                                              POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




5.2.1 IRWM Plan Goals and Objectives


During Plan formulation, the RWMG evaluated the proposed non-structural and structural
water management measures using operational objectives that were both quantitative and
qualitative. The RWMG described the planning objectives as operational objectives as a
means to help decide which project components, when implemented, would best meet the
Region’s priorities; and provide a means to measure performance of implementing the water
management measure. For the purpose of the Poso Creek IRWM Plan, operational
objectives were evaluated in conjunction with the technical analysis of the water supply,
demand, and operations study of the Region, consideration of the Regions’ highest priorities,
and how the water management measure met multiple strategies.

The goal of the RWMG was to select a “bundle” of actions from the identified projects (both
non-structural and structural measures) that supported the Region’s highest priorities; of
which the highest priority identified in the Plan is mitigating the projected water supply loss
to the Region. Another goal was to be able to predict how well a group of selected water
management measures from this “bundle” of projects would provide a solution to meet the
operational objectives, hence the need to describe the planning objectives quantitatively.
Accordingly, the RWMG wanted to apply a fair and equitable approach that included a
combination of technical and operational knowledge when selecting a group of project
components to implement from the proposed water management strategies. It was important
to the RWMG to maintain a regional equity when formulating the Poso Creek IRWM Plan
and when selecting projects to include in grant funding proposals. Describing the planning
objectives and highest priority water management strategies as quantitative and qualitative
operational objectives helped serve this purpose. Furthermore, prioritizing the water
management measures within each objective helped prioritize which projects to implement
under limited funding opportunities.

The quantitative and qualitative operational objectives and resulting prioritized water
management measures are shown in Table 5-1 Plan Goals and Operational Objectives, which
is the same table shown in chapter 8 of the Poso Creek IRWM Plan (Table 8-1).

5.2.2 Prioritizing Projects


As part of the RWMG’s efforts to pre-screen proposed projects prior to applying the
operational objectives, the RMG applied a planning process for selecting projects that met
the planning objectives, water management strategies, and timing for near-term
implementation. The planning process started with formulating the plan objectives and
developing the water management strategies and proposed projects to meet the planning
objectives. Next, a set of pre-screening criteria were established and each proposed project




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                                              POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




was evaluated to determine whether the project supported the plan integration and the
multiple objectives. Lastly, the project’s near-term implementation status was determined
and the proposed projects were categorized as a Tier 1, Tier 2, or Deferred project (see
Figure 5-1 Planning Process for Project Screening).

          A Tier 1 project was a project that is ready for implementation and can be
           completed within three years.
          A Tier 2 project was a project that will be ready for implementation in four to six
           years.
          A deferred project was a project that did not support the plan integration and the
           multiple objectives set by the RWMG, and it did not meet the timing for near-
           term implementation proposals.

Since many of the proposed projects meet several plan objectives and span multiple water
management strategies, a key factor in pre-screening the proposed projects into their
respective Tiers was the project’s readiness for near-term implementation. The projects that
met highest priorities for the Region and the timing for near-term implementation were
categorized as Tier 1 projects; projects that met the priorities for the Region and met the
timing for longer term implementation were categorized as Tier 2 projects. Since most of the
proposed projects identified in the planning process and described in Appendix D of the Poso
Creek IRWM Plan are ready for construction or have progressed to the point that they are
ready to proceed to construction, either as a study or a project ready for implementation,
most of the proposed projects were categorized as Tier 1 projects. Thus, the RWMG needed
to apply another level of project selection criteria in order to equitably select a group of
projects to include in the near-term grant funding opportunities.

In addition, near-term funding opportunities aligned with this IRWM Plan are also an
important factor in prioritizing the proposed projects into a group of projects to be included
in the near-term grant funding proposal in support of IRWM Plan implementation. Each
project’s funding needs were evaluated versus how the project fit into the funding
opportunities, in addition to the previous pre-screening evaluation. Accordingly, four
“bundles” were developed; namely, Bundles 1, 2, 3 and Deferred to help guide the technical
evaluation of proposed projects as the RWMG selected Regional water management
measures to implement. Table 5-2 Project Pre-Screening and Ranking shows the results of
characterizing projects that was accomplished up to Plan adoption in July, 2007.

As part of forming the JPA for the Tulare Lake Hydrologic Region Water-Related Entities in
2008, the Poso Creek RWMG participated in a collaborative effort to develop a method to
characterize, score, and rank projects for the purpose of regional prioritization. The
interesting result in going through this exercise with neighboring IRWMs was to recognize
that because of differing water management issues and priorities between IRWMs, it was




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                                              POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




better to characterize projects into familiar groups and then to apply a scoring and ranking
criteria to select projects from the groups to match funding opportunities. For instance, water
supply reliability is the overriding issue, whereas, other IRWM groups may be faced with
water quality being their number one issue. Furthermore, it was recognized that DACs,
environmental groups, and other specialty water management groups had access to funding
outside of the IRWM program. Hence, it was agreed among the parties that rather than
attempt to rank projects from highest to lowest, it would be more advantageous to implement
a multi-step prioritization process, where projects are characterized and organized by their
water management issue, funding opportunities identified, and then projects selected and
grouped as they make sense for the given funding opportunity.

The resulting updated Poso Creek IRWM Plan Scoring is shown following the text in this
Section in Table 5-3. Examples of the collaborative work products that resulted from the
JPA working group on prioritizing projects included in Attachment 5. The Attachment
contains a description of how the JPA could prioritize projects by using Project Submittal
Criteria, Roughing Filters, and scoring sheets for Water Supply Projects DAC Projects,
Water Quality Projects, and Proposed Natural Resource Conservation and Restoration
Projects.

5.2.3 Financing RWMG and IRWMP activities


The Poso Creek RWMG MOU Section 4.04 (Budget) states that the RWMG will prepare a
budget for review and adoption for IRWMP activities. Section 4.05 (Contributions and
Payments for General and Mutual Expenses) discusses the contributions and payments to be
made to the Management Group. As it states, Stakeholders are not expected to contribute
monetarily the same as a Management Group member.

Projects and implementation efforts, such as improvements to conveyance systems,
distribution systems and/or interconnections between Districts, are anticipated to include
funding from local districts. Funding for larger-scale projects with regional and statewide
benefits is more challenging. Given the primarily agricultural nature of the Region, and the
fact that most communities in the Region are economically disadvantaged, proponents of
large-scale, multi-benefit projects and programs often must seek additional funding sources.
Thus, availability of grant funding has and will continue to have an influence in project
implementation prioritization.

In short, the overriding theme of the RWMG is to promote a group of project components
that provides measurable benefits to the Region and to each member district. The projected
water supply challenges for this Region are greater than any single funding opportunity. The
RWMG is committed to applying grant funding equitably to help solve Regional issues.




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                                             POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




5.2.4 Implementing Plan Activities


The Poso Creek RWMG will continue to meet regularly since the method of meeting face-to-
face at regular intervals has proven to be useful to implementing the water management
measures identified in the Plan. As the MOU states in Section 4.05, (Participating Parties)
RWMG members will form agreements to provide funding and cost sharing for the projects
they are sponsoring.

Article VI of the MOU discusses the relationship of the Regional Group and
Parties/Stakeholders. As stated in Section 6.01(Not a Separate Entity) of the MOU, the Poso
Creek RWMG purposely selected and structured the MOU with limited powers that does not
create a separate entity. The reasons the RWMG chose a MOU with limited power versus a
Joint Powers Agreement or Authority is it did not see the need to replace the powers that
each member has and the RWMG did not want to incur additional liability for a neighboring
District or Stakeholder’s construction project. Project Participants can form a JPA as needed
to administer projects within the Region.

5.2.5 Making Future Revisions to the IRWM Plan


The Poso Creek IRWM Plan is designed to be a living document. The RWMG meets
regularly and has maintained a compilation of IRWM Plan activity on a monthly basis. The
RWMG has formed a “Working Group” to evaluate and recommend revisions and IRWM
Plan Updates. Improvements to the IRWM Plan have continued since Plan adoption. It is
anticipated that a formal IRWM Plan revision to document Proposition 84 compliance will
be accomplished following the RAP. All future tasks will be administered using the Poso
Creek RWMG MOU.

5.2.6 Hiring and Managing Consultants


The hiring and managing of Consultants will be accomplished through the RWMG utilizing
the MOU. A task list and projected annual budget will be developed and administered as
part of implementing the Plan under the provisions of the MOU.


5.3    Stakeholder Representation

Describe how the RWMG will incorporate new members into the governance structure.
Explain the manner in which a balance of interested persons or entities representing




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                                              POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




different sectors and interests have been or will be engaged in the process, regardless of
their ability to contribute financially to the plan.

Now that the Poso Creek IRWM Plan governance MOU is in place, the RWMG anticipates
incorporating a new member into the governance structure by following through with the
process to add a member from the Stakeholders as identified in the MOU. Since the
surrounding areas are engaged in developing IRWMs, it is not anticipated that the Poso
Creek IRWM Plan governance structure will need to incorporate new members in addition to
the Stakeholder representative. The present list of interested Stakeholders and Plan
Participants are aware of the expenses and responsibilities associated with administering the
IRWM and have indicated to the RWMG that they are comfortable serving the Poso Creek
IRWM Plan through “Sponsors”, who are paying RWMG members. It is expected that the
Poso Creek MOU will assist with formal interaction with other neighboring IRWM groups,
participation in the JPA for the Tulare Lake Basin Entities, and participation in the
Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley’s effort to develop an IRWM Plan for eight counties
of the Central Valley.


5.4    Collaborative Water Management Portfolio
Describe how the governance structure facilitates development of a single collaborative
water management portfolio, prioritized on the regional goals and objectives of the IRWM
region.

As shown in Table 5-1, the RWMG has developed a list of water management measures to
implement prioritized by the Regional objectives. As projects have been developed for DAC
& Environmental water uses, they are integrated into one of the objectives of the Plan.




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                                              POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




6     IRWM Regional Boundary


6.1    Determination of the Region Boundary
Present the IRWM regional boundary. Indicate in the submittal which boundaries are included and
if/how they affect the determination of the region boundary:

The Poso Creek Region lies within a specific portion of the Tulare Lake Basin Hydrologic
area, known as the Poso Hydrologic Unit, as defined by the State Water Resources Control
Board6. The RWMG districts are located in the northerly portion of Kern County and
southerly portion of Tulare County as shown on Figure 2-1. Figure 7-1 shows the
relationship of the RWMG to the Poso Hydrologic Unit. The basis for the Region boundary
was influenced by several factors:
     Political and jurisdictional boundaries of those districts wanting to participate in the
        joint planning effort;
     Natural surface water systems and rights to those sources;
     Access and rights to multiple sources of surface water supplies and surface water
        conveyance systems within the planning area, and for conveying water to or from the
        planning area;
     Access to a common groundwater basin;
     Common watershed boundaries and sub-units;
     Land use, particularly irrigated agriculture, waterfowl habitat and preserves, and
        sensitive upland species habitat;
     Topography and geography as it relates to the ability to economically provide water
        for irrigation;
     Common floodplains and flooding issues; and
     Significant yet manageable size.

As described in more detail in Section 2.1, the RWMG not only shares a common
groundwater basin, the group has access to several local and regional water supplies and
conveyance systems. For these reasons, the Poso Creek Region was chosen as an area was
poised to leverage its diverse portfolio of water supplies and infrastructure for the common
purpose of improving water supply reliability within the Region.

Throughout the IRWMP planning and implementation process, the boundary of the RWMG
and Poso Creek Region has evolved to encompass area within the districts and surrounding




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                                                    POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




non-district area that shares common interest. As part of Plan implementation, the Poso
Creek Region Boundary has been modified along the north and east to conform to
neighboring IRWM planning efforts that are developing, and was modified to the east to
include an area along Poso Creek drainage which has a potential flood control and
conservation reservoir.

As noted in Section 7.1.3, other IRWMP efforts within the Tulare Lake Hydrologic Basin
and the Southern San Joaquin Valley are in various stages of development. While each of
these areas is developing planning groups of their own, it is important to recognize that the
Poso Creek RWMG has evolved into a functional group that includes stakeholders/interested
parties. The boundaries selected for the group resulted from outreach to the neighboring
areas who also wanted to maintain their own identities. This left the Poso Creek RWMG as a
logical collection of districts and stakeholders which can and has made effective and timely
decisions.

Following the text of this section, figures are presented which depict the above features as
well as other features listed by DWR in the Guidelines. The information contained in this list
of views was considered when determining the Region’s Boundary.

        Figure 6-1 Region Boundary
        Figure 6-2 Water Management Agencies
        Figure 6-3 Watershed Management Areas
        Figure 6-4 Groundwater Sub basins
        Figure 6-5 RWQCB Region 5 Boundary
        Figure 6-6 Flood Zones
        Figure 6-7 Physical Features
        Figure 6-8 Surface Water
        Figure 6-9 Water Infrastructures
        Figure 6-10 Impaired Water Bodies
        Figure 6-11 Population
        Figure 6-12 Critical Habitat Areas
        Figure 6-13 Disadvantaged Communities

Electronic files are included on a CD along with the GIS files. Information regarding the
population, income, and location of the economically-disadvantaged communities that was
presented in the Poso Creek Plan, is provided as Attachment I.




6
 Water Quality Control Plan Report, Tulare Lake Basin (5D), State Water Resources Control Board, Regional
Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Region (5), 1975




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                                               POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




6.2    Relationship of Region Boundary to Water Management
       Integration
Explain how the IRWM region encompasses the service areas of multiple local agencies and will
maximize opportunities to integrate water management activities related to natural and man-made
water systems, including water supply reliability, water quality, environmental stewardship, and
flood management.

Because the RWMG members share the common features described above, water
management programs can be accomplished which help to meet their overarching goal of
making the Region’s water supplies more reliable. Several water banking and exchange
agreements have been accomplished as a result of the dialogue and information exchange
afforded by the planning process. Specific examples include moving wet-year water into
areas that have extra absorptive capacity in order to get water back in future dry years.
Section 7.1.2 provides some specific illustrations of how these programs have been able to
function as a direct result of the integrated regional planning that has taken place over the last
four years.




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                                                   POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




7      Background/History


7.1     History


A description of the history of IRWM efforts in the region. Describe how the region boundary
relates to the current water resources and historic water management issues in the region?
The Poso Creek Region lies within the San Joaquin Valley portion of Kern and Tulare counties. Large
quantities of water are used for agriculture, industry (many of which are related to agriculture), and
the commercial and domestic purposes normal to any community. The general character of the
landscape is agricultural, for which the soils and climate are well suited. The area produces over $2
billion dollars of agricultural products per year. Thus, the economic fiber of the area depends on
water, which was historically developed by diverting limited, variable stream flow and pumping
groundwater.

The Region’s agriculture was initially livestock grazing and livestock feed crops which used
irrigation water supplies diverted from the Kern River. In the 1920s, more intensive irrigated
agriculture developed using the river water supplies supplemented with extraction and use of water
from the extensive groundwater body underlying much of the valley. From the 1930s through the
1960s, the irrigation interests formed formal water districts and irrigation districts. These districts
developed measures to supplement irrigation supplies and enhance the naturally occurring recharge of
the stored groundwater with water supplies from the Kern River and other local streams, and
eventually with water supplies from imported sources. Each of these districts was the vehicle for
integrated water management among the landowners and communities included in them. Not all
landowners within the District boundaries agreed to participate at the same level, leaving some areas
to continue to be totally dependent on groundwater. In addition, some areas chose not to join any
formal district and still remain totally dependent on groundwater. Those particular landowners have
made conscious decisions to not participate in the funding of the supplies and infrastructure supported
by those participating in organized districts.

With continuing increases in demand for surface supplies and declining groundwater levels, many of
these districts agreed to support creation of a broader county-wide agency. The Kern County Water
Agency was created by special Act in 1961 to contract with the State for supplies from the State
Water Project. Not all of the organized districts joined as member units of the Agency; particularly
those districts that considered their water supply (at the time) as sufficient to balance their demands,
such as the districts with contracts for Federal supplies and one of the Kern River districts. Today,
locally occurring water supplies are supplemented with water imported by the State of California
through its State Water Project (SWP) and by the Federal government through the U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation’s Central Valley Project (CVP).




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                                                        POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




As surface water supplies began to dwindle in the mid 70s, several key investigations were conducted
in the Region that provided a basis for the water supply evaluation and project identification within
the Poso Creek Region, including the following:

    1. “Water Resources Management in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, California” – A
       Study of the Physical and Institutional Management Practices for Surface and
       Ground Water Utilization, Bookman-Edmonston Engineering, January 1979.

    2. “Report on Investigation of Optimization and Enhancement of the Water Supplies of
       Kern County”, Associated Engineering Consultants, January 1983.

    3. “Kern County Water Agency – Initial Water Management Plan”, Kern County Water
       Agency, October 2001.

7.1.1 Historical Integrated Regional Water Management Related to the Region
Individual districts and the Kern County Water Agency have provided vehicles being the
foundation for Integrated Regional Water Management. In 1983, a major water management
planning effort was undertaken by a consortium of Kern County water districts. This effort
followed an earlier study entitled “Water Resources Management in the Southern San
Joaquin Valley, California” (1979). The resulting “Optimization Report”7 described a
thorough investigation of the status of development and water requirements as of 1980, as
well as measures that could be taken to increase Kern County’s absorptive capacity8 in order
to take better advantage of wet-year supplies. The Optimization Report also evaluated the
feasibility of securing additional water supplies from other northern California non-State
Water Project sources.

The primary recommendations of the Optimization Report were – (1) to increase
groundwater recharge capability, (2) to construct groundwater banking arrangements to
protect west side agriculture in the San Joaquin basin of Kern County, (3) to investigate
additional opportunities to engage in west and east water exchanges (to avoid energy
consumption for pumping), and (4) to construct additional west-to-east conveyance. Many of
the recommendations contained in the Optimization Report have since been implemented.

Even though the Optimization Report is about 30 years old, it is still an important resource
for water managers to measure their long-term progress and an example of how Kern County
and Southern San Joaquin Valley agencies have had a history of working together to solve
the area’s water needs. During the past 30 years, actions which have been taken on the basis
of these early water management plans have led to stabilized groundwater levels. In this

7
  “Report on Investigation and Optimization and Enhancement of the Water Supplies of Kern County”,
Prepared by Associated Engineering Consultants, Bakersfield, California, January 1983.
8
   Absorptive capacity is the ability to use surface waters in lieu of groundwater plus the direct recharge of
surface water when available.




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                                                    POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




regard, recommendations found in previous water related reports were an important starting
place in formulating the Poso Creek IRWM Plan. The Poso Creek Region lies within a
specific portion of the Tulare Lake Basin Hydrologic area, known as the Poso Hydrologic
Unit, as defined by the State Water Resources Control Board9. The RWMG districts are
located in the northerly portion of Kern County and southerly portion of Tulare County as
shown on Figure 2-1. Figure 7-1 shows the relationship of the RWMG to the Poso
Hydrologic unit.

As described in more detail in Section 2.1, the RWMG not only shares a common
groundwater basin and hydrologic unit, they have access to several local and regional water
supplies and conveyance systems. For these reasons, the Poso Creek Region was chosen as
an area that could leverage its portfolio of water supplies and facilities for the common
purpose of improving water supply reliability within the Region.

7.1.2 Recent Water Management and Planning Activities Related to the
      Region
Water management in and around the Region is governed by a web of water exchange
agreements, banking arrangements, and local agency agreements and relationships.
Management actions are driven by agricultural water use in the Region and influenced by the
overall water supply issues of the State of California. Urbanization in areas located in other
parts of California and environmental water needs located outside of the Region has
adversely affected water supplies historically available to the Region.

Subsequent to the Optimization Report, during the late 1980s, the State Department of Water
Resources proposed development of the Kern Water Bank, which was conceived as being
comprised of the Kern Fan Element (a direct recharge and recovery project straddling the
Kern River) and several “local elements” (direct and/or in-lieu recharge projects within
surrounding water districts). The primary objective of the Kern Water Bank was to develop
additional storage and State Water Project yield. While the State did not proceed with the
Kern Water Bank, local agencies have proceeded with implementation for the benefit of Kern
County and water agencies having water management agreements with Kern County water
districts. In particular, a consortium of local water agencies has implemented the Kern Fan
Element which is known today as the Kern Water Bank.

It is noteworthy that the planned “local elements” of the Kern Water Bank from the State’s
planning efforts of the late 1980s and early 1990s were not limited to the area of the Kern
fan. In particular, during this period of time, Cawelo, North Kern, and Semitropic each
prepared and submitted (to the State) a pre-feasibility study for in-lieu and direct recharge

9
 Water Quality Control Plan Report, Tulare Lake Basin (5D), State Water Resources Control Board, Regional
Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Region (5), 1975.




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                                               POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




project within the RWMG area. The Semitropic Element of the Kern Water Bank is now
known as the Semitropic Water Bank. To the extent that they have not already been
implemented, some of these same concepts are included in the Poso Creek IRWM Plan.

In the mid 1990s, Semitropic commenced implementation of a large water banking project,
which brought neighboring water districts together in the form of a Groundwater Monitoring
Committee. This Committee was formed pursuant to a formal Memorandum of
Understanding between Semitropic and its neighbors. The MOU defines project operations,
monitoring and mitigation if needed. The Committee continues to operate and provides a
forum for exchange of information and dialogue between districts. Under Semitropic’s water
banking project, large areas which were solely reliant on pumped groundwater now have the
infrastructure in place to take delivery of surface water supplies when available. Also during
the 1990s, a physical interconnection between Semitropic (an SWP contractor) and Shafter-
Wasco (a CVP contractor) was constructed to facilitate better water management.

Several water banking and exchange agreements have been accomplished as a result of the
interconnections and communications afforded by these feasibility studies and forums. An
example of a recent water management action within the Region is a pilot water banking
program between North Kern WSD and Delano-Earlimart ID begun in the fall of 2006.
Under this program, approximately 30,000 AF of Delano-Earlimart’s contract water was
brought into North Kern at a time when Delano-Earlimart’s supply exceeded its immediate
capacity to absorb it. Of the water conveyed to North Kern, 27,000 AF will be returned to
Delano-Earlimart under mutually agreeable conditions. This agreement improves the water
supply reliability of both districts by fully utilizing available surface water supplies. Another
example of a recent agreement approved by Reclamation is the 25-Year Conjunctive Use,
Groundwater Storage and Extraction Project between Kern-Tulare and Rag Gulch Water
Districts and North Kern Water Storage District. Under this agreement, approximately
33,000 AF will be delivered to North Kern WSD for storage. Up to 5,000 AFY of the stored
water will be returned to Kern-Tulare/Rag Gulch When needed.

In 2001, KCWA adopted an Initial Water Management Plan under guidelines of the
Agricultural Water Management Council. While this effort included the entire San Joaquin
Valley portion of Kern County, it provided valuable information for the Poso Creek Region.
This report states that KCWA objectives include:


      Assure the availability of adequate water supplies of suitable quality to meet the
       needs for water in Kern County.
      Promote the optimal and equitable management of water resources within Kern
       County.
      Assure that SWP water supplies are provided at an affordable cost.




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                                             POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




      In coordination with affected local entities, advocate and defend water interests in
       Kern County in political, legislative, legal and regulatory arenas.
      Maintain and facilitate effective communications among the Agency, the Member
       Units, other water interests and the public.
      Conduct Agency operations in an effective, efficient and fiscally responsible manner.


A number of recent actions have taken place which are increasing coordination between and
among water agencies in the Region, and thereby furthering water resource management.
While year-to-year actions are too numerous to mention, those that have resulted in long-
term arrangements include implementation of a water banking relationship between North
Kern and Kern-Tulare; and development of a water banking project by Cawelo, which
included construction of over 500 acres of spreading ponds. Also during this time period,
while not limited to the Poso Creek Region, KCWA created a forum for open discussion of
groundwater management issues in the San Joaquin Valley portion of Kern County.


7.1.3 Other IRWM Planning Activities within the Tulare Basin Funding Area
The Poso Creek RWMG has been coordinating with several other IRWM planning efforts
underway in and adjacent to the Tulare Basin Funding Area.

Westside Drainage – Functional equivalent IRWMP developed over 20 years with assistance
from Reclamation, received $25M Implementation Grant

Upper Kings Basin – Prop-50 Compliant IRWMP developed over 10 years with assistance
from DWR, received $~6M Implementation Grant

Kaweah Delta – Prop-50 Compliant IRWMP, developed during the past 5 years.

Poso Creek – Prop-50 Compliant IRWMP, developed during the past 5 years.

Tule River - Developing IRWMP

South Sierra – Developing IRWMP

Kern – Developing IRWMP

JPA for Tulare Lake Hydrologic Region Water-Related Entities – IRWM Coordination
Group




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                                              POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley – Resource Management Plan for eight
counties in the San Joaquin Valley

While each of these planning efforts (listed above) is developing a planning group of its own,
it is important to recognize that the Poso Creek RWMG has evolved into a forum that
includes stakeholders/interested parties. The boundaries selected for the group resulted from
outreach to the neighboring areas who also wanted to maintain their own identities. This left
the Poso Creek RWMG as the logical collection of districts and stakeholders which can and
has made effective and timely decisions.


7.2    Issues and Conflicts


A description of the regional water management issues, and conflicts in the region. Issues
and conflicts may relate to water supply, water quality, flood management, environmental
stewardship, imported water, waste water, conjunctive use, etc. Also describe efforts to
develop multi-benefit integrated programs and projects that meet regional priorities.
Numerous public agencies, formed under the laws of the State of California, were established
to develop, regulate, and distribute local water supplies and supplies imported from outside
the Region through the SWP and the CVP. For decades, water agencies in both Kern and
Tulare counties have given much attention, effort, and funding to the effective planning,
control, and utilization of their water resources. All of the districts in the Region were
organized to serve irrigation water; accordingly, most do not provide direct domestic or
residential water within their boundaries. However, all of the districts have groundwater
management responsibilities and several have management agreements with economically-
disadvantaged communities. The communities which lie within a given district benefit
directly and indirectly from the district’s water management activities. The direct benefits
are from the replenishment of the common groundwater basin. The indirect benefits come
from the jobs created by enabling a vibrant agricultural economy to exist in the region.

Water resource management is not new to the area. For instance North Kern Water Storage
District was established in 1935 and pioneered conjunctive use in Kern County. In addition
to formation of formal water districts to administer water supply contracts and build
conveyance and distribution facilities, many of the districts formed or joined organizations to
help tackle some of the broader issues affecting water supplies available to the Region.
Organizations such as the Friant Water Authority, the Kern County Water Agency, and the
Water Association of Kern County, were formed. Notwithstanding the high degree of water
resource management that has evolved, there are water supply challenges ahead which
require that water resources management in the Region be taken to a new level. In simple
terms, there are several things which either will or could serve to reduce the water supplies
historically available to the Region. Given that past studies have shown that groundwater



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                                               POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




levels over the Region have been “stable” over recent history, it is clear that any reduction in
historically available water supplies will translate to a decline in water levels. Accordingly,
it is incumbent on the Region to identify and implement measures which will mitigate the
anticipated reduction in water supply reliability in order to maintain the economy which has
built up in reliance on those supplies. In particular, these measures would facilitate an
increase in the Region’s capability to recharge water supplies when available, through both
in-lieu and direct means. The groundwater basin common to the Region is the Tulare Lake
Basin (DWR No. 5-22.14).

The agriculture-based economy of the Region depends on an adequate water supply from
several sources; however, increasing competition for California’s water resources, principally
for urban and environmental uses, is becoming more than individual districts can handle,
pointing toward an integrated regional water management approach to resolve water resource
issues in the Region. The Optimization Report (1983) pointed out many of the same issues
which have only gotten worse over time.


7.2.1 Physical and Institutional Issues and Needs of the Region
Significant water issues facing the Poso Creek Region are maintaining a reliable water
supply and balancing the use of surface water and groundwater supplies within the basin.
The identified needs associated with the management of surface water and groundwater
supplies for the Poso Creek Region are summarized as follows:

      Develop additional water exchange agreements between districts in an effort to deliver
       surface water to direct recharge facilities to allow for absorption of wet-year supplies in
       addition to the in-lieu recharge capacity of the Region.
      Expand “water-banking” arrangements between districts having access to direct
       recharge and those that do not. This allows storage of water in, and return of stored
       water from, groundwater facilities, thereby helping to mitigate dry-year deficiencies for
       those districts that receive the water.
      Expand in-lieu service areas by modifying conveyance facilities to allow delivery of
       surface water to presently irrigated areas now served solely from groundwater in order
       to increase the recharge of water to groundwater aquifers and conservation of water in
       groundwater aquifers.

Because surface water is available to the Region from a number of sources which have
differing hydrologic characteristics, integration of these various supplies, combined with
conjunctive use of the groundwater basin, provides the Region with an opportunity to
improve its water supply reliability. Regional cooperation of the member districts provided
the opportunity to evaluate solutions for individual district needs and for the Region by
increasing operational flexibility.



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                                               POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




7.2.2 Water Management Conflicts, Issues and Needs of Member Districts of
      the Poso Creek IRWMP Region
The water management assets, issues, and needs of the individual members of the Poso Creek
RWMG were identified by staff of the respective districts, communicated to the consultants
tasked with drafting the Poso Creek IRWMP, and presented at the regularly scheduled
Regional Water Management Group monthly meetings to allow for the other member
districts, and the public, to learn about each member district’s issues and needs. Each
member district’s water management issues and needs fit in one category or another, under
the broader umbrella of the planning objectives that were identified in Chapter 1. These
objectives are restated herein – (1) water supply reliability, (2) maintain groundwater levels,
(3) protect and enhance water quality, (4) maintain economical water supply costs, (5)
provide for adequate monitoring, (6) environmental enhancement, and (7) enhance flood
control in the area.

In addition to the individual district concerns, the districts within the Region have significant
common concerns in regard to future water supplies for the Region. Several of these
concerns are:

      Limited ability to access their CVP water supplies from the Delta due to State and
       Federal regulatory measures in the Delta and increased reliance upon the SWP by The
       Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California;

      Several districts have contracts with the City of Bakersfield that are up for
       renegotiation on or after December 31, 2011, thus, the ability of the districts to
       receive a reliable supply of Kern River water is uncertain beyond 2011;

      Loss of Kern River storage in Lake Isabella due to dam safety issues; and

      A coalition of environmental groups has settled a lawsuit against the federal
       government which will adversely affect the water supply contracts in the Friant
       Division of the CVP. In particular, this settlement will reduce the Friant Class 1,
       Class 2, and Section 215 water supplies.

For each district, an initial meeting was held early in 2006 between each district and GEI
Consultants/Bookman-Edmonston to document each district’s water management assets,
issues, and needs and to discuss the integrated planning process. During the second half of
2006, each of the member districts presented their district’s assets, issues, and needs at one of
the regularly held Poso Creek IRWMP monthly meetings, and is summarized in the Plan.




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                                               POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




Other local land and water use conflicts in the Poso Creek IRWMP region include dairies,
biosolids disposal, improperly destroyed water wells, flooding and groundwater banking
recovery operations. Poso Creek RWMG members have been taking active roles in the
community to address these County-wide issues. As an example, Semitropic had a lead role
on the County of Kern Dairy Technical Advisory Committee and the County’s Water Well
Ordinance Task Force which developed amendments and procedures to ensure proper well
destructions. These types of issues are normally addressed by the regulating entity which has
the power to create ordinances to regulate the land use. In the case of Kern County, the
County Board of Supervisors created the Water Resources Committee (KCWRC), which
meets quarterly. The Committee has the ability to create task forces and working groups to
address specific issues. Semitropic has taken a leadership role as chairman of the Committee
and also chaired many of the task force meetings. Members of the KCWRC are appointed by
the Board of Supervisors. Five of the nineteen members represent districts or growers in the
Poso Creek Region. The full KCWRC also addressed biosolids disposal and has worked
with the County on ways to eliminate disposal over potable groundwater.
Flood control issues are discussed in Section 7.3.


7.3    Regional Water Related Components


A description of the water related components of the region. The submittal must consider two
different types of components, the physical components and the groups that manage or have
input to those components. Physical components of a water system include natural and man-
made infrastructure. Some of the components to be included are watersheds, surface water
impoundments, ground water basins, water collection systems, distribution systems,
wastewater systems, flood water systems, and recharge facilities. The submittal should
explain how water arrives in the region, how it is used, and how it is handled after it is used.


For decades, the RWMG agencies within the Region have operated within the common
groundwater basin conjunctively with the available surface supplies. Conjunctive use of
groundwater and surface water has been a part of the water resources management planning
practices in the San Joaquin Valley for more than a century. Therefore, it was logical for the
RWMG to form and focus on the potential for increasing conjunctive use of limited surface
water and groundwater supplies through regional cooperation and planning. The Region is
located at the confluence of the California Aqueduct, Friant-Kern Canal, and the Kern River.
The Region’s assets --- state, federal, and local water supplies; proximity to major
conveyance facilities of statewide importance; significant groundwater storage capacity; and
significant absorptive capability that can be reached with surface water --- have made it an
ideal location to regulate surface supplies conjunctively with groundwater to the benefit of
the agriculture-based economy of the Region and the State. In addition to their geographical,
hydrological, and institutional attributes, the RWMG’s operational knowledge proved



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                                              POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




essential when formulating the Plan. Moreover, the Plan provides this Region with the
opportunity to contribute to the local and state-wide improvement of water supply reliability,
provide drought protection, assist economically-disadvantaged communities, assist in the
management of water-related aspects of the Delta, and facilitate satisfaction of environmental
water needs under the recent San Joaquin River Settlement.

The Regional Water Management Group is well situated to provide additional conveyance
for water exchange, banking, and conjunctive use projects. The key to these opportunities is
the location of the basin and groundwater storage capability. The Region is located adjacent
to the California Aqueduct of the SWP and the Friant-Kern Canal of the CVP. Surface water
supplies come from the USBR’s CVP project, the SWP, the Kern River, and occasionally,
Poso Creek.

The long-standing cooperation between Regional Water Management Group members exists
because of their shared groundwater supplies and common interests. Since their creation, in
addition to their own regular Board Meetings, the members have participated in many forums
to oversee water operations and policies. More recently, in 1995, Semitropic WSD was the
first water district to implement a groundwater bank where water agencies outside the
groundwater basin could store water for future delivery to their respective agencies. At the
end of 2006, almost one million acre-feet was in groundwater storage. The amount of
storage available for water banking has since been increased to 1.65 million acre-feet. In this
regard, it is noted that the storage capacity of the groundwater basin is substantially larger
than the amount that has been earmarked for water banking.

Because this operation has an effect on water levels in adjacent areas, Semitropic and its
adjoining water districts entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which
defines project operating parameters, monitoring, and mitigation if needed. The MOU also
established a Groundwater Monitoring Committee to oversee the banking project operations.
In addition to Semitropic, committee members include North Kern and Shafter-Wasco
(which are members of the RWMG), Buena Vista Water Storage District, Rosedale-Rio
Bravo Water Storage District, and Southern San Joaquin Municipal Utility District. This
committee has hired an independent consulting hydrogeologist to oversee the groundwater
monitoring and to biennially produce a report on hydrologic conditions. All members of the
committee provide data for that report. The committee meets as required and provides a
forum for issue discussion and resolution. These meetings are in addition to the monthly
Semitropic Board Meetings which are open to the public to attend and comment on any of
Semitropic’s programs.

Similar to Semitropic, Cawelo Water District developed a groundwater banking program of
its own and executed an MOU with its adjoining districts. Cawelo’s project stores water for
two out-of-County water agencies; one a supplier of agricultural water and the other a




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                                               POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




supplier of M & I Water. Cawelo’s adjoining entities include; North Kern WSD, Southern
San Joaquin Municipal Utility District (both of which are within the Poso Creek Region) and
Improvement District No. 4 of the Kern County Water Agency.

A key element of water management in the Southern San Joaquin Valley is providing
exchange capacity between districts in order to match available regulated and unregulated
supplies with agricultural demands and make use of direct groundwater recharge facilities.
Proposed modifications to the existing facilities will enhance conveyance of water between
the Friant-Kern Canal and the California Aqueduct to allow for additional exchange capacity
between districts which will benefit the agricultural community, the environment, and
economically disadvantaged communities within the Region, as well as areas outside of the
Region. The IRWMP considered the operations of water conveyance facilities, including the
Cross Valley, Calloway, and Lerdo canals, and identified interconnections which would
increase operational flexibility. Since the Region includes an operational history of
groundwater banking, conjunctive use, and water exchanges between districts, the added
flexibility created by the active development or enhancement of facilities in this regional area
will provide opportunities for increasing the reliability of water supplies, not only for the
Region, but also for agencies located outside of the Region. In this regard, major municipal
water providers in both southern and northern California who participate in water banking
projects in the Region are in a position to benefit from any added flexibility and reliability.

The Kern County Water Agency (KCWA) operates the Cross Valley Canal (CVC), a 22-mile
conveyance canal which connects the California Aqueduct with areas east, including the
urban Bakersfield area, and Cawelo and Kern-Tulare water districts. Cawelo and Kern-
Tulare have entered into a contract with KCWA for operation of the CVC. Both participate
in an advisory committee which holds monthly public meetings on the operations,
maintenance, and improvements of the CVC. The Poso Creek IRWMP evaluated the
feasibility of constructing interties between the member agencies that would enhance the
ability to move water into and between the CVC, the Calloway Canal and the Lerdo Canal.
This information is presented in Chapter 6. Figure 2-1 schematically depicts the geographic
relationship of water conveyance features in the Region.

KCWA provides the forum for discussion of any SWP issues through monthly Board
Meetings, which are open to the districts as well as the public. KCWA’s Board is made up of
publically-elected members; the area of two of the seven KCWA Board members overlaps
the RWMG area. Historically, KCWA formed a Water Districts Advisory Committee which
also met monthly to create a forum for discussion between districts with federal, local and
SWP supplies. A subset of the Water Districts Advisory Committee became the steering
committee for the Optimization Report, which included three of the Poso Creek RWMG
members.




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                                              POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




For issues related to operation of the Central Valley Project Friant-Kern Canal, two forums
exist. While water supply contracts are held by individual districts with the Bureau of
Reclamation, operations and policy issues related to the Friant-Kern are made through the
Friant Water Users Authority and the Friant Water Authority. Monthly meetings are held
and open to the public. Three of the members of the Poso Creek RWMG are also members
of those organizations.

In addition to these contractually-required forums, the members of the Poso Creek RWMG
participate in the Water Association of Kern County, the Kern County Water Resources
Committee (which reports to the Kern County Board of Supervisors), and the Association of
California Water Agencies.

In regard to flood control for the area, the County of Kern handles the floodplain
management and flood control planning. The largest local streams impacting the Poso Creek
RWMG include Poso Creek, Rag Gulch, and White River. The RWMG members have
developed facilities to distribute the flows for recharge of the groundwater basin and reduce
downstream flooding. In addition, three of the members entered into a Joint Powers
Agreement for investigating the feasibility of a flood control dam on Poso Creek. The
KCWA and County of Kern also participate in the US Army Corps of Engineers Feasibility
study of the Poso Creek Dam Site.

Groundwater supplies the local communities within the Poso Creek Region. Each
community has developed its own water supply and wastewater distribution system. The
communities rely on the surrounding water districts for replenishment of the groundwater.
These relationships can be contractual or by virtue of their landowners being within the
boundaries of the district. The communities are made aware of the district Board Meetings
and are provided an opportunity to comment at the meetings. Treated sewage effluent from
those communities is used for irrigation of non-edible crops. To the extent this is done, less
groundwater is pumped. During the process of refining the Poso Creek IRWMP, several of
the communities have chosen to participate in the monthly Poso Creek IRWMP meetings as
stakeholders. As stakeholders, those communities are provided a chance to participate in
project and issue identification and can vote as a group on the direction of the RWMG.




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                                             POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




8     Adjacent IRWM Regions


8.1    Relationship and Coordination
Since Plan adoption in July, 2007, the Poso Creek RWMG has committed considerable time
and effort to support and strengthen working relationships with neighboring IRWM regions.
The Poso Creek RWMG has participated in a leading role to help coordinate planning
activities for the Tulare Basin Funding Area. The RWMG continues to foster and build
relationships with other planning groups within the Central Valley as evident in the following
list of Plan implementation activities.

Coordinating efforts include:
   1. Meeting monthly as a RWMG focused on IRWM Plan Implementation provides other
      IRWM groups with a functional implementation group to communicate with for
      implementing water management strategies that are larger than one planning group,
      such as, managing flood water from rivers adjacent to the Friant-Kern Canal in the
      Tulare Basin. These monthly implementation meeting notices are distributed to a
      large group of districts and stakeholders, and provide a designated time for the
      RWMG to listen to any interested parties.

    2. Meeting regularly with neighboring established and developing IRWM groups to
       formulate the Joint Powers Agreement for Tulare Lake Hydrologic Region Water-
       Related Entities. Semitropic is a signatory on behalf of the Poso Creek RWMG.
       Other signatory members are the Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District and the
       Deer Creek and Tule River Authority. Participating parties in the monthly meetings
       include representatives of the Kings River Conservation District, the Upper Kings
       IRWMP, the Southern Sierra IRWMP, the Kern County Water Agency, and the Kern
       IRWMP. (A copy of the signed JPA is included in Attachment 8)

    3. Supporting the efforts of the Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley to develop an
       Action Plan that is a framework for planning for an eight-county area of the Central
       Valley (http://www.sjvpartnership.org/).

    4. Encouraging the DACs and Cities within the Poso Creek Region who are within the
       “North Group” of the Kern IRWMP to join the Kern IRWMP process and help build
       working relationships between the developing Kern IRWM group and the functioning
       Poso Creek IRWM Plan implementation group.




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                                             POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




   5. Offering in-kind services and participating as a Stakeholder in the Kern IRWMP
      process. (Communication letters between the Poso Creek RWMG & the Kern
      IRWMP Executive Committee are in included in Attachment 8)

   6. Participating in the “Round Table of Regions” conference calls and IRWM
      coordination meetings.

   7. Participating in semi-annual Tulare Lake Basin Working Group meeting that are led
      by Carole Combs, Executive Director, Tulare Basin Wildlife Partners and working
      with the TBWP to develop and implement wildlife projects in the Poso Creek Region.

   8. Attending Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Conference and presenting Plan materials at
      meetings with Reclamation planning staff.

   9. Presenting Plan information at technical conferences, such as, the United States
      Committee on Irrigation and Drainage.


The Poso Creek RWMG formed in March of 2005 to consider developing an IRWM Plan
with the focus on managing their common groundwater basin and with the concept of adding
a multi-district conveyance facility between the CA Aqueduct and the Friant-Kern Canal.
One of the first communications that Semitropic made, acting as the Lead Agency, was to
call the Kern County Water Agency to gage the interest throughout Kern County for creating
such an IRWMP. Due to the lack of interest by other parties in Kern County at the time, the
Poso Creek RWMG went ahead with a proposal for a Planning Grant for the Region
associated with the multi-district conveyance facility and common groundwater basin. The
Poso Creek RWMG was successful in obtaining a Prop 50 Planning Grant, which led to the
completion of the Poso Creek IRWM Plan that was adopted in July 2007. Some of the
projects identified in the Poso Creek IRWM Plan are now complete and many others are
being implemented.

Eight months prior to Plan adoption, Proposition 84 was passed. This led to the requirements
for IRWM Plans being changed to a higher “elevated” standard. The Poso Creek RWMG
continued to meet monthly as part of implementing the adopted Plan and has anticipated and
addressed some of the Proposition 84 requirements. The RWMG will continue to evaluate
how to best complete the Prop 84 Plan update and address any remaining concerns of DWR
following the RAP evaluation.

The Poso Creek Region is continuous as there are no void areas. The Region includes all
non-district area within the Region boundary. Any of the non-district areas surrounding the




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                                              POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




Poso Creek Region within DWR’s designated Tulare Basin Funding Area is covered by one
of the neighboring IRWMP efforts, which are under development.

The IRWMP regions immediately surrounding the Poso Creek Region include the Tule River
IRWMP to the north, the Kern IRWMP to the west, south, and east, and the Southern Sierra
IRWMP to the east. Recently, the Kern IRWMP formed a participation group to develop an
IRWMP that surrounds the west, south, and east sides of the Poso Creek Region. In addition,
recent legislation directs future IRWM Plan updates to include more emphasis on several
topics, including: involving DACs in the planning process, defining the Plan governance,
and including discussion of climate change.

Representatives of the Poso Creek RWMG “Prop 84 Plan Update” Working Group have met
with surrounding IRWMP at the monthly JPA coordination meetings and have worked
cooperatively on matching neighboring boundaries. For any areas of “white space” outside
of the Poso Creek Region who do not have an IRWM sponsor, it is the intent of the JPA and
the Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley to provide a method for any entity to be included
in an overall collective IRWMP within the Tulare Basin Funding Area.

Because the Poso Creek RWMG received a Proposition 50 planning grant, the need to collect
fees from the DACs or other entities within the Region for participation in their Plan was not
critical to getting the Plan document written. The Poso Creek RWMG recognized that the
Kern IRWMP was being developed without the assistance of a DWR Planning Grant, and
recommended all of the non-paying entities to join in the Kern IRWMP plan process as
paying participants and offered to the Kern IRWMP full use of all Plan information
developed in their planning process as an in-kind contribution. The Poso Creek IRWM
RWMG and the Kern IRWMP Executive Committee have continued a dialogue to discuss
options for proceeding with planning within their region. The Poso Creek IRWM RWMG
desires to retain its established identity and relationships and maintain its manageable size
that allows it to make decisions and take actions quickly.

The Poso Creek IRWM Plan, the Kern IRWMP, and other neighboring IRWMP are on
separate time lines, which have lead to some implementation issues. The RWMG has
invested significantly in planning activities in addition to the Proposition 50 grant received
and believes their Plan is at the implementation stage, adds value to Poso Creek Region, the
Kern IRWMP Region, the Tulare Basin Region, the San Joaquin Valley, and to the State of
California. The RWMG also believes and has put into place a mechanism for the non-paying
participants within the Region to be allowed to compete through their Poso Creek IRWM
RWMG Sponsors for this next round of Proposition 84 funds.




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                                             POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




8.2    Region Overlap, Voids, or Exclusions
There is no overlap with developing regions, with the exception of the Kern IRWM planning
effort which is currently underway. At such time as the Kern effort is complete, it is likely
that the efforts of the two groups will be coordinated in some manner; accordingly, Poso
Creek RWMG representatives have been attending meetings of the Kern group. There are no
void or excluded areas within the Region; rather, all unorganized areas have been included.
With regard to void areas outside of the Region, it is noteworthy that the boundary has been
modified to conform to the developing regions to the north and east.


8.3    Water Management Differences Between Regions
Describe any distinct water management differences between adjacent or overlapping IRWM
regions and the proposed IRWM region to support being separate IRWM regions.

To a certain extent, some of the observations which support the boundary of the Poso Creek
Region are also the observations which differentiate the Region from adjacent or overlapping
regions. These observations are organized under the following: hydrology, size, and
readiness-to-proceed.
     Hydrology –
           o The Kern River fan effectively provides a hydrologic “separation” between
               lands lying north and south of the fan, as it relates to groundwater. In
               particular and historically, the Kern River has marked a water level “high” or
               “ridge” as the principal source of recharge to the basin.
           o The Poso Creek Region substantially includes the Poso Hydrologic Unit, as
               defined by the RWQCB.
           o The Poso Creek Region includes the entirety of the Poso Creek fan and areas
               outside of the Region are not affected by issues related to Poso Creek, which
               include flood control and habitat.
     Size –
           o The Poso Creek Region is large enough to include …
                    seven water districts
                    several cities (some incorporated, others not; but all economically
                       disadvantaged)
                    a total population on the order of 100,000 people
                    almost 600,000 acres
                    on the order of $2 billion worth of agricultural production
                    a diverse portfolio of water supplies (groundwater, as well as local,
                       SWP , and CVP surface water supplies)
                    proximity to and capacity in the principal regional conveyance
                       facilities (California Aqueduct, Friant-Kern Canal, Cross Valley
                       Canal, Beardsley/Lerdo Canal, and the Calloway Canal), thereby



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                                         POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




                  providing important operational flexibility in moving water supplies
                  throughout the Region
                 significant absorptive capability, both in terms of irrigation demand
                  and direct recharge
                 the Poso Creek fan with regard to both natural and intentional recharge
                 a 10,000-acre national wildlife refuge (the Kern National Wildlife
                  Refuge)
                 several thousand acres of private duck clubs
                 the Poso Creek corridor and other significant wildlife habitat

       o The Poso Creek Region is small enough to …
             make meetings and scheduling manageable
             facilitate meaningful discussion of issues at monthly meetings
             facilitate decision making
             act quickly to capture windows of opportunity
             share “water supply reliability” as the overarching issue

   Readiness-to-Proceed –
       o The Poso Creek Region commenced with integrated regional planning prior to
          immediately adjacent areas; accordingly, a Plan was completed and adopted in
          July 2007, whereas similar planning efforts in the surrounding areas are
          underway, without adopted plans.




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                                             POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




9     Participants in RAP Interview



The RWMG anticipates a group of five representatives to participate in the RAP interview
consisting of the following:

Three District Managers – representative of each of the three major water sources: State
Water Project, Central Valley Project, and Kern River supplies.

Stakeholder – a representative from Self-Help Enterprises who participates in the Plan
implementation meetings.

Consultant – a Consultant under contract to maintain the Plan and to guide the
implementation.




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POSO CREEK REGION ACCEPTANCE PROCESS




                              A-1

								
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