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County enters MOU with groundwater district

In order to save time and a little money, members of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sierra Valley Groundwater Management District for cooperative implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

Plumas County Environmental Health Director Jerry Sipe was before the board Tuesday, Jan. 8, with the request.

Sipe’s proposal involves a strip of public land near the Grizzly Ranch area near Portola.

As background, Sipe said the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act provides a statewide structure for the management of groundwater basins at the local level.

It requires the development of plans that ensure that groundwater is managed to prevent overdraft or other unsustainable practices, Sipe explained.

In Sierra Valley, part of the basin is in the boundary of the Sierra Valley Groundwater Management District and part of it is outside the district, Sipe explained. The portion outside of the district is the responsibility of Plumas County.

Sipe said that rather than develop two plans, the MOU would establish cooperation with the Sierra Valley district. “It would result in a single, comprehensive plan for the entire Sierra Valley groundwater basin,” he said.

Sipe further explained that the Sierra Valley district fully supported the MOU and the sustainability plan. It had also been reviewed by County Counsel.

It was pointed out during the meeting that this is an area without campgrounds or wells for the county to be concerned about.

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