Well own­ers sought for wa­ter ad­vi­sory group

Un­der a state law, which passed 2 years ago, agen­cies ex­pected to come up with ground­wa­ter com­mit­tee

The Signal - - NEWS - By Jim Holt Sig­nal Se­nior Staff Writer jholt@sig­nalscv.com

Karl and Shirley Rei­necker are the type of peo­ple lo­cal wa­ter of­fi­cials want to re­cruit for a new state-man­dated com­mit­tee.

The cou­ple lives on a ranch in Tapia Canyon, north of Va­len­cia, ac­ces­si­ble by a dirt road that few travel down, Karl Rei­necker said Tues­day.

But the Rei­neck­ers pump their wa­ter from a ground­wa­ter well, which puts them in a very nar­row de­mo­graphic sought by the state-or­dered Santa Clarita Val­ley Ground­wa­ter Sus­tain­abil­ity Agency in an ef­fort to form an ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee.

Un­der a state law passed two years ago, which was spurred by drought con­cerns and con­ser­va­tion ef­forts, lo­cal wa­ter agen­cies statewide are ex­pected to come up with a com­mu­nity-based ground­wa­ter sus­tain­abil­ity agency.

The ground­wa­ter in ques­tion in­volves the Santa Clara River Val­ley East Sub-Basin, which stretches west from Agua Dulce to the Ven­tura County line and from the north­ern reaches of Cas­taic Lake to Cal­grove.

Those who draw their wa­ter from a well pos­sess a com­mod­ity state and lo­cal wa­ter of­fi­cials covet more than wa­ter — in­for­ma­tion about wa­ter, and specif­i­cally, in­for­ma­tion about the scarcity of ground­wa­ter.

“I knew we were los­ing our ground­wa­ter and that some­thing has to be done to sus­tain it,” Karl Rei­necker, 86, said Tues­day, not­ing it was the rea­son he at­tended one of the very first meet­ings of the SCV GSA. He added that it’s al­ways been an in­ter­est of his.

Rei­necker worked at Rock­well In­ter­na­tional and, dur­ing his time there, he read a lot of stud­ies pre­pared by the De­part­ment of En­ergy.

“One study re­ported wa­ter in the San Joaquin Delta dropped 105 feet,” he said.

“We are aware of the loss of ground­wa­ter,” he added. “But, if the state wants to know if we’ve lost 2 acre-feet of ground­wa­ter, how are they go­ing to know?”

Me­ters on wells

Putting me­ters on ground­wa­ter wells was one method sug­gested at one of the early GSA meet­ings as a way of keep­ing track of the avail­abil­ity of ground­wa­ter.

Mitch Glaser, a mem­ber of the GSA rep­re­sent­ing the Los An­ge­les County De­part­ment of Re­gional Plan­ning, at­tended a GSA meet­ing ear­lier this month.

“The GSA Board re­ceived two pre­sen­ta­tions,” Glaser said. “The first pre­sen­ta­tion per­tained to the an­tic­i­pated bud­get for de­vel­op­ment of the Ground­wa­ter Sus­tain­abil­ity Plan.

“It was help­ful to get an un­der­stand­ing of the to­tal costs, how much of the costs would be cov­ered by the grant we re­ceived, and how much of the costs would be re­lated to con­sul­tant work.

“The sec­ond pre­sen­ta­tion,” he said, “per­tained to the Stake­holder Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee. Al­though this group may not be or­ga­nized for some time, it was help­ful to re­view its po­ten­tial struc­ture and mem­ber­ship.”

“The Stake­holder Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee will be in­stru­men­tal in pre­par­ing the (sus­tain­abil­ity plan) and mak­ing sure it rep­re­sents ev­ery­one’s in­ter­ests,” he said.

Pri­vate wells

“The un­in­cor­po­rated por­tions of the Santa Clarita Val­ley in­clude many pri­vate wells, op­er­ated by both small and large pumpers, so it is es­pe­cially im­por­tant to me that th­ese in­di­vid­u­als are fully rep­re­sented on the Stake­holder Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee,” Glaser said.

“We look for­ward to an up­com­ing public work­shop that will help spread aware­ness and hope­fully spur more public in­volve­ment,” he said.

Rei­necker said he hopes to at­tend that work­shop.

“A work­shop is be­ing planned for the af­ter­noon of Tues­day, June 26 (at the head­quar­ters for the SCV Wa­ter Agency), where stake­hold­ers will be in­vited for an over­view of the GSP de­vel­op­ment process,” said Kathy Martin, spokes­woman for the SCV Wa­ter Agency.

Mean­while, the search con­tin­ues for pumpers of ground­wa­ter wells.

“We’re us­ing an email dis­tri­bu­tion list to ad­vise peo­ple of GSA meet­ings,” Martin said.

For peo­ple in­ter­ested in join­ing the mail­ing list for more in­for­ma­tion about the meet­ings, visit http://yourscvwa­ter.com/in­dex.php/ground­wa­ter-sus­tain­abil­ity-agency/. The SCV Wa­ter Agency is lo­cated at 27234 Bou­quet Canyon Road, in Sau­gus.

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