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Supervisors submit letter supporting Sierra Valley groundwater grant

Members of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors ratified a letter in support of the Sierra Valley Groundwater Management District application for grant funding Tuesday, Nov. 5.

The letter is for a Sustainable Groundwater Management (SGM) Grant, Round 3 SGM planning.

“Plumas County strongly supports the Sierra Valley Groundwater Management District application for Round 3 program funding as this funding is critical to achieving sustainable groundwater management in the Sierra Valley Groundwater Basin,” said supervisor and Board Chairperson Kevin Goss in the letter.

The letter is in recognition of the passage of the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and for the state’s requirement for Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) that is to be completed for the basin by Jan. 31, 2022.

“Plumas County actively supports the SVGMD in the development of the Sierra Valley GSP grant application in achieving our shared goal of developing and implementing a GSP in order to achieve groundwater sustainability in the Basin in accordance with SGMA,” according to the letter.

Sierra Valley with its population of 2,200 according to the 2010 census, is classified as a Disadvantaged Community, with two census tracts covering the basin at 66 percent and 70 percent of California’s Median Household income.

The letter also discusses the county and SVGMD’s long-term cooperative relationship. Adequate funding for developing Sierra Valley GSP is an essential part of implementing a sustainable groundwater management program for its users, stakeholders, tribal and federal governments.

“DWR (Department of Water Resources) grant funding will offer critical support to develop a legally defensible GSP, while building important infrastructure and capacity for ongoing monitoring and management efforts by the SVGMD,” according to the letter.

Besides additional information on the partnership, supervisors enclosed a memorandum of understanding between Sierra Valley Groundwater Basin relating to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

The letter or MOU didn’t mention the amount of the grant.

MOU between Sierra Valley Groundwater Basin as related to Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

This MOU is made and entered into on Jan. 8, 2019 by and between the county of Plumas and Sierra Valley Groundwater Management District.

Whereas, on Sept. 16, 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bills 1168 and 1139 and Assembly Bill 1739 known collectively as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act; and

Whereas, the purpose of SGMA is to create a comprehensive management system in California by creating a structure to manage groundwater at the local level, while providing authority to the state to oversee and regulate, if necessary, the local groundwater management system; and

Whereas, SGMA empowers and requires local agencies to develop and adopt Groundwater Sustainability Plans that are tailored to the resources and needs of their communities, provide a buffer against drought and contribute to reliable water supply for the future; and

Whereas, Water Code Section 10723.6 authorizes a combination of local agencies overlying a groundwater basin to elect to become Groundwater Sustainability Agency by using a memorandum of agreement or other agreement; and

Whereas, the Department of Water Resources granted the Sierra Valley Groundwater management District GSA authority over the portion of Sierra Valley Groundwater Basin within the District’s boundaries on 4-1-2017; and

Whereas, the DWR granted Plumas County GSA authority over portions of the Sierra Valley Groundwater Basin outside of the District boundary and within Plumas County on 4-14-2017.

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