Private Pumper input sought

Submitted by: Mary Fahey | Colusa County Department of Agriculture

We are reaching out to all Private Pumpers because we need your help!

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 calls for the formation of a new government structure to regulate groundwater statewide.  The state is divided into groundwater basins, and those basins will be managed by a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSAs).

Early this year the County of Colusa established PPAC (Private Pumper Advisory Committee). Recognizing that Private Pumpers needed a voice, the committee was formed to advise the county on ground water conditions and future ground water policy. PPAC has no official role in the GSA process and no voting authority.

Only certain public entities are eligible to be a GSAs.  In brief, cities, counties, and agencies with land or water use authority can become a GSA.  Individual landowners outside of a water district are NOT eligible to become GSAs.

For the past several months GSA eligible agencies including Colusa County have been working on a governance structure for a new Government Agency that will be responsible for the sustainable management of groundwater within Colusa County and the Colusa Basin.

GSA eligible agencies involved in the process include:

• Glenn Colusa Irrigation District

• RD108

• RD1004

• Colusa County Water District

• Provident Irrigation District

• Princeton-Codora-Glenn Irrigation District

• City of Williams

• County of Colusa

It is important that all Private Pumpers (landowners outside of a district who operate Ag wells) are aware that the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) does not provide a direct role for them in the process.  Does it make sense to create a “Local” agency to manage our groundwater without representation from those who depend on it most?

GSA members will have a responsibility to collect taxes/assessments, collect well pumping data, produce a GSP (Groundwater Sustainability Plan), enforce restrictions/management practices, develop special projects to address problem areas, and many other roles pertaining to groundwater sustainability.   Simply flipping on the switch when you need water will soon be a thing of the past!

It is the position of PPAC (Private Pumper Advisory Committee) that for SGMA to be successful ALL stakeholders need to be represented at the highest level of governance. PPAC has been advocating for a GSA Board that is balanced in its representation, meaning an equal voice for Private Pumpers and other involved agencies.  GSA eligible agencies can delegate authority to Private Pumpers at their discretion.  We as Private Pumpers have no authority of our own!

We are asking you to please join us at the next GSA Governance meeting on August 24th from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. at Westside Water District.

We as Private Pumpers must stand united if we are to accomplish our goal. Strength in numbers will send a clear message that we will not accept a system without due representation.  Groundwater is our lifeblood, without it our land turns to dust.

The time is now to have your voice heard!  Don’t wait!  The result of ignoring this process will be placing your future, your children’s and grandchildren’s future entirely in the hands of the agencies who may not have your best interest at heart.

Our vision is Private Pumpers and GSA eligible agencies working together on a level playing field to achieve sustainability and ensure continued LOCAL control of our most precious resource.

Please join us next Wednesday!

For more information, questions, or comments contact:

Lorraine Marsh – (530) 682-4969

Darrin Williams – (530) 682-8422

Jeff Moresco – (530) 624-6820

Kim Gallagher – (916) 806-9926

Derick Strain (530) 237-7505

Doug McGeoghegan

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