Ratepayer Group Standing Firm on GSP Allocations
Last updated 3/25/2019 at 1:31pm
With the Draft GSP due for public unveiling at about the same time this issue hits the stands, the Ratepayer Group (RG), part of the GSP Advisory Committee, will be taking much the same stand as the Community Sponsor Group in pushing for a non-reduction over time in water allocations for municipal users.
Under the leadership of Gary Haldeman, a ratepayers meeting attended by six concerned citizens March 14, was held at the American Legion to discuss this and other issues prior to the Draft’s release.
“As ratepayers,” says Haldeman, “we can’t kick the can down the road anymore.”
To reach the overall reduction in groundwater pumping from 20,000 afy to 5,700 afy, the State has mandated what amounts to a 75% overall reduction, to be achieved no later than 2040.
Our GSA will recommend cuts in municipal use over the 20-year GSP implementation period, using a baseline reference point of 1,700 acre-feet per year (AFY); the purchase and subsequent fallowing of farmland would keep municipal usage at current volumes of delivery.
Ratepayer representatives think otherwise. The Ratepayer Group will, along with the Sponsor Group, be arguing in public forums and in letters to County/State officials for the inclusion of four goals in the Final (approved) GSP:
1) The 1,700 afy municipal allotment should not be further reduced; 2) The proposed 20-year reduction period is too long and should be accelerated; 3) Good water quality must be maintained, monitored, and tested; and 4) Groundwater-dependent ecosystems must be given the water they need to ensure survival.
Via what Haldeman sees as petitions circulated and signed, perhaps online, arguments will be made to the Powers That Be on the above topics and also other areas of concern to ratepayers: Water rights, water trading, water conservation, tax incentives for fallowing, water quality optimization, and intra-sub Basin water transfers that would mix higher quality potable water with water not quite meeting public health standards (e.g., dissolved solids) to make the supply acceptable for municipal needs.
It is the end of the beginning for our GSP, and there is much work ahead in implementing a workable Plan that is as fair and equitable as it can be.