Lodi City Council gets water update
The Lodi City Council received an update on the city’s Groundwater Sustainability Plan during Tuesday morning’s shirtsleeve meeting at Carnegie Forum. The plan is expected to go to a vote at tonight’s council meeting.
According to Kahrs, Lodi’s wastewater treatment plant supervisor, the city is required to submit its groundwater plan to the California Department of Water Resources before the January deadline.
The city was mandated to develop a plan after former Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Sustainable Groundwater Management
Act into law in 2014.
The act requires local water agencies to form groundwater sustainability agencies and develop plans to address shrinking groundwater basins by Jan. 1, 2020.
Lodi is one of 17 groundwater sustainability agencies that make up the Eastern San Joaquin Groundwater Authority. The city, along with 16 other stakeholders, has completed its management plan and is looking to the council for approval.
“A consultant was hired to assist with drafting the GSP to ensure we included all the information that was needed for it,” Kahrs said.
The groundwater plan will provide background information about each basin, its groundwater conditions, and its sustainability goal.
Monitoring networks are also included in the plan to assess and compile data about groundwater levels. There will be annual reports and periodical evaluations made by the agencies.
The agencies will also develop inter-agency and basin-wide agreements to prevent issues like overdrafting and saltwater intrusion.
Kahrs believes that once the basins adopt the plan, the next steps will be creating more capturing systems that will collect stormwater during wet years, reducing overall water use, recharging groundwater, and repairing existing water infrastructure to reduce waste.
The California Department of Water Resources will evaluate each plan as part of the process.
The state’s groundwater agencies must collect and compile data on historic and current groundwater levels, water quality, the interaction of ground and surface water, and historic and projected supply and demand.
The groundwater sustainability project is projected to cost the 17 Eastern San Joaquin GSAs approximately $2.176 million.
Funding of $1.5 million was granted to the Eastern San Joaquin Groundwater Basin through Proposition 1B. The remaining $676,420 came from the San Joaquin County Zone 2 contribution and authority members. As an authority member, Lodi was responsible for $11,664 of the project.
A draft of the GSP was provided to the community through the city websites. Lodi held a public meeting on March 26 at Hutchins Street Square to provide information to residents about the mandate and the city’s proposed plan of action.
“The comments given to us by the public were taken into account when we finalized the draft,” Kahrs said.
Jane Wagner-Tyack, a water policy analyst and communication consultant, said she felt the city’s plan met the GSP criteria and addressed citizen concerns.
Wagner-Tyack said the GSP included the development of new projects that focus on water conservation, recycling water, and in-basin transfers of surface water, without exhausting the region's groundwater.
A copy of the plan can be found online at
https://bit.ly/2qk1a0I. Today’s city council meeting will be held at Carnegie Forum, 307 W. Pine St., Lodi at 7 p.m.