PERHAPS A WATER DEMAND SOLUTION?

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Drought at Lake Don Pedro

PLEASE  NOTE: OTHER THAN THE PREVIOUSLY POSTED ARTICLE FROM THE MARIPOSA GAZETTE … I have no idea if the out of court settlement between the County of Mariposa and the Merced Irrigation District will actually solve the water problem here in Lake Don Pedro, but it sure sounds like a tantalizing possibility.

Mariposa County to receive $1.5 million; $300,000/year for 30 years, and 8,000 acre feet of water from McClure?  WOW!  Even MID’s water license 11395 only provides 5,160 AF for the Lake Don Pedro area and we traditionally consume only about 1/4 – 1/5 of that (but of course the subdivision is not fully developed yet either).

[NOTE: The Lake Don Pedro Community Services District’s actual water consumption rate has for decades been WRONGFULLY INTERPRETED AND STATED TO MEAN (by those desiring water outside the PLACE OF USE of course), that the LDPCSD had “EXTRA WATER” it could deliver anywhere it wanted – which is completely incorrect.]

Could this settlement be an equitable remedy for the LDPCSD’s 37 year water problem that has torn this community apart?  Just think of the possibilities!

Finally, and for the first time in it’s history, the LDPCSD might be able to focus on the primary mission of supplying water to the Lake Don Pedro residential subdivision/golf course area, while the County of Mariposa might simultaneously meet the WATER DEMAND FOR ALL THE PROPERTY ANNEXATIONS MARIPOSA LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission) ADDED TO THE LDPCSD THROUGH THE DECADES!   Annexations that for the LDPCSD REQUIRED AN EXPENSIVE GROUNDWATER SUBSTITUTION PROGRAM that LDP subdivision property owners simply do not require (nor should be required to subsidize) since they are entitled to Merced River water from McClure under WL11395.

Some very exciting possibilities.  Although the community of Cathey’s Valley was specifically mentioned in the article as a potential beneficiary, sure seems MARIPOSA COUNTY/LAFCo SHOULD START WITH RECTIFYING A MAJOR PROBLEM THE LAKE DON PEDRO CSD (and area) HAS SUFFERED WITH SINCE FORMATION DUE TO EXPANDED WATER SERVICE BOUNDARIES OUTSIDE WL11395 PLACE OF USE – CREATED BY MARIPOSA LAFCO.  

You know, take responsibility for creating the problem in the first place?

Just think, Mariposa County/LAFCO may now finally have the water available to make good on the thousands of acres of property annexations they approved despite the LDPCSD not having the water.

Hallelujah brothers and sisters!  Decades of suffering may be coming to an equitable end for at least the Mariposa side of the LDP subdivision, but we shall see.  After all, how many times has something appeared wonderful at first blush but then just ends up biting us in our collective ASS    ets?

 

My best to you and yours, Lew

 

PS,  You know there is something wrong when you search the internet for LAKE DON PEDRO CSD and the result states:

“Water treatment plant in La Grange, CA” but with a photo of a GROUNDWATER WELL used to substitute MERCED RIVER WATER that wrongfully leaves the Place of Use of the water license!   not so lol

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MARIPOSA GAZETTE ARTICLE RE: MID & MARIPOSA COUNTY SETTLEMENT

Reading Time: 5 minutes

County and MID come to terms on water rights at Lake McClure

By GREG LITTLE Editor

It’s an agreement 50 years in the making.

And after years and years of negotiations, a settlement has finally been reached between Mariposa County and the Merced Irrigation District (MID).

The agreement deals with the water that flows into, and out of, Lake McClure, which is located in Mariposa County. MID is the agency that oversees operations of the reservoir and its power generation.

“Yes,” said Mariposa County Supervisor Kevin Cann when asked if he was satisfied with the agreement.

The case has to do with an agreement that was first signed in 1968 after construction of the reservoir in northern Mariposa County.

Since that time, Mariposa County has received $100,000 a year from MID.

However, as part of that 50-year-old agreement, the only way Mariposa County could have benefited additionally would be to build a separate reservoir — either on or from waters of the Merced River. That river has a “wild and scenic” declaration, making any such construction virtually impossible.

“What does winning look like?” said Cann about the settlement.

Cann said local officials believe they could have probably won a court case, but wondered what that would mean.

“We could win and only win the right to do something we couldn’t do,” said Cann.

MID had argued, that as part of the original agreement, they only needed to pay Mariposa County if there was construction of a water resource project on the South Fork of the Merced River. They also claimed that such development was impossible because of the wild and scenic status of the river.

Mariposa County officials argued that receipt of future payments was not conditioned upon its construction of water resource projects and though difficult, the wild and scenic designation would not prohibit the County from future water resource projects.

Mariposa County Counsel Steve Dahlem said the case never did go to trial, but it has been in negotiations for many years. The agreement does stipulate the County is responsible for all legal fees. Dahlem said he did not have exact dollar amounts about how much it has cost to date, though he did indicate the $100,000 received each year from MID has been used to cover those fees; and possibly more.

Cann said local officials have been in negotiations for years because they knew the original agreement was expiring. After several years, it was in 2013 when MID filed the court action.

Cann said he believes “both sides knew” that a court action was going to have to be filed and it was MID which took the first initiative.

Since then, legal counsel on both sides have been negotiating the settlement, which was signed by Tulare County Superior Court Judge David C. Mathias on Oct. 26.

As part of the settlement, Mariposa County will receive a one-time payment of $1.5 million to be used at the County’s discretion. That payment will likely come in January, said Dahlem, and will probably be part of the mid-year budget discussions in late February or early March.

In addition, the County will likely receive $300,000 a year from the proceeds of MID’s hydroelectric sales. That money can be used for any purpose and will be paid for 30 years. That money could be less should power generation revenues plummet for MID, which is not likely.

Another major point of the settlement has to do with development of water resource projects. Under the agreement, 6 percent of MID’s annual gross hydroelectric generation revenues will go into an escrow account for development of water projects at Lake McClure. The maximum amount deposited in the account is $18 million. Those developments can be on the east or west side of the reservoir.

How quickly those funds will accumulate depends on the amount of electricity generated at the dam on Lake McClure.

However, if this year is any indication, it could accumulate quickly.

According to the MID operating budget, in fiscal year 2018, which ends next June, expected revenues exceed $22 million. That would mean $1.3 million would be placed in the escrow account. Should that pace remain, the $18 million would accumulate much faster than the 30- year agreement.

Whether Mariposa County can develop any water resource projects remains in question. The agreement states that after 30 years, if there is no development, the funds will be split evenly between MID and the County.

The agreement also guarantees up to 8,000 acre-feet of water a year, at no charge, to develop water projects. An acre foot is roughly a depth of one foot of water spread over the size of a football field.

It also guarantees preservation of 30,000 acre-feet per year of the County’s water rights from the South Fork of the Merced River.

It also gives the County the right, for 30 years, to develop water resources projects on Maxwell Creek (4,000 acre-feet per year) and Bean Creek (1,200 acre-feet per year). Any such projects developed would give the County the right to use such water in perpetuity.

The agreement does stipulate that any such water developments can only be used in Mariposa County and not be sent outside of the County.

Cann said the agreement allows Mariposa County to “maintain our existing rights for 30 years.”

And, he said, the County “avoided having to build a reservoir.”

He did point out the agreement does allow the County to pump water out of the existing reservoir.

Though just a concept, Cann said if some type of project could be developed to provide water to the Cathey’s Valley area, it could change the landscape.

“Imagine if you could irrigate the land down there,” said Cann.

Though the process and ultimate agreement, which supersedes the original contract, is complicated, Cann said it does protect the County for the future.

“It provides a valid way that water access can be had for growth and change in Mariposa County without having to build a reservoir,” said Cann, “It is usable water for the future.”

Another issue which always seems to come into any discussion about Lake McClure is the Bagby Recreation Area, which is located in Mariposa County on Highway 49 North between Mariposa and Coulterville.

The boat ramp as well as restroom and camping areas have been a bone of contention for local residents, who say they have been neglected by MID, which is in charge of that area.

Dahlem said those are separate issues and were not part of this settlement on the water rights.

Cann did say those issues are something the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors should be discussing, if it is warranted.

“If there are services they should be providing, we should be talking about that,” said Cann.

Another issue that comes into play is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which regulates hydroelectric rights across America. Currently, the MID is operating under an old FERC agreement and has been in negotiations for a new agreement for several years.

Part of that agreement could include recreational opportunities, something many feel could be an economic boost in Mariposa County.

Though a different matter, Cann said any final agreement could play a role in the economic future of the County.

Information on the process can be found on the ferc.gov website.

Greg Little is Editor of the Mariposa Gazette and can be reached at greg@mariposagazette.com.

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WHICH PETE?

Reading Time: 1

 

Like everything else I was hoping to spend more time on this ditty but alas – never enough time so it will have to suffice.    Besides, probably doesn’t matter too much anyway (other than I know I can do better as I learn) as you folks already know my opinion – I’m just having some fun expressing it in a different way.   Just a different twist of the same old “blah blah blah”…..(hee hee).   Well, we sure didn’t get the rain as anticipated (could have told you that since I picked up tools because had I left them out it would have rained like heck!  lol).  Hope you are all having a great weekend.  Later Lew

My best to you and yours, Lew

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PART K October 16th, 2017 LAKE DON PEDRO CSD Monthly Board of Directors Meeting

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Tah dah!  Meeting recordings finished.  All three video cameras were down and only the audio recorder backup made it to the end, well at least to the end that I chose when abruptly leaving in disgust.  Yup, made for a slightly shorter report since most of that ludicrous Monday meeting was spent intentionally dragging out the time.   Kampa never ceases to amaze me with his ability to lie right to someone’s face with enthusiasm while burning meeting time, potential question time, and precious battery time.

No biggie.  Was still able to record what I sought to preserve: that absolutely ridiculous DIGITAL MAPPING PRESENTATION which displayed some of the most beautifully arranged and presented bullshit ever shown in that boardroom.  ABSOLUTELY INCORRECT AND KAMPA KNOWS IT.  Heck, that’s what he has been planning for a very long time.

Seriously, this may very well be the biggest waste of my dwindling time that I ever been involved.  Either that, or one of the most important uses of time.   Isn’t that the kicker?  Only TIME ITSELF will decided. WASTED or GOOD USE?

Who knows?  But I’ll tell you this without any hesitating doubt, “Sneaky Pete” Kampa doesn’t slow down for anyone, the public, Board Members, or even the California State Water Resources Control Board, aka, State Water Board or just WATER BOARD.   Even in light of the NOTICE OF VIOLATION, good ‘ol “Sneaky Pete” Kampa doesn’t miss a beat in his pursuit to provide even more GROUNDWATER SUBSTITUTION to annexed properties OUTSIDE THE PLACE OF USE OF WL11395.  But I guess you knew that.

Difficult to effectively object to wrongful activity of your local water company when the Board completely backs their GM/TREASURER despite his obvious special interest dedication to property annexations he orchestrated 20 years ago when working here for the first time (1994-1997).

ANYWAY, as Kampa droned on, and on, and on with his absolute misrepresentations of fact,……I could feel my blood pressure rising.

“HOW CAN HE BOLD FACE LIE LIKE THAT TO BOARD MEMBERS AND THE PUBLIC?

WHY NOT?   He’s been lying since he first arrived and he was a liar when he left LDPCSD employment in 1997.  I imagine that was the very reason the hiring board never conducted a simple employment background check on “Sneaky Pete”- they already knew who and what he was – exactly what they needed. They had a meeting of the minds as to what KAMPA was hired to do and how:

DEVELOP MORE GROUNDWATER WELLS WITH PUBLIC GRANT FUNDS IN ORDER TO ALLOW MASSIVE DEVELOPMENT TO PROPERTIES OUTSIDE THE LEGAL PLACE OF USE FOR MERCED RIVER WATER UNDER THE WATER LICENSE WHICH KAMPA WAS PUSHING 20 years ago.   KAMPA was returned to finish his annexation work in delivering a SUFFICIENT GROUNDWATER SUPPLY.

I’m tired.  More on this absolute betrayal to the district, customers, and our system of law and democracy – sometime.

 

My best to you and yours, Lew

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