On a day to day basis, we stay busy repairing water main breaks, helping our customers find leaks and providing safe drinking water, but we also devote a lot of time to planning for the future. It is important that we look ahead so we can successfully manage our water resources and implement necessary infrastructure projects in order to meet our customers’ future water needs and maintain a resilient water delivery system in the face of aging infrastructure. Currently, the district is directing a lot of our efforts to the formation of a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) and developing a Climate Action Plan.

By forming a GSA we will be taking a step towards improved groundwater management in the Carpinteria Groundwater Basin (CGB), which the Department of Water Resources has designated as a “High Priority” basin. Through the development of a Climate Action Plan, we can examine ways to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) production and prepare our water system to adapt to a changing environment.  

Carpinteria Valley Water District is working with other local agencies to develop a GSA, which is required by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). When Jerry Brown signed the SGMA into law in 2014, it was the first piece of legislation to lay a framework for managing California’s groundwater resources and bringing them into sustainable operation. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Grant Program recently made an additional $47 million available for GSAs to use for expanding public outreach, updating groundwater models, developing their Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs), and installing monitoring wells.  

It is anticipated that our local GSA will be finalized by early 2020, which will make the agency eligible for up to two million dollars from the grant program. These grants will be awarded in the Spring of 2020 to selected agencies. To receive SGMA-related updates and future meeting notices, please email your contact information to SGMA@cvwd.net and you will be added to the interested parties list. We invite stakeholders to get involved in the process.

The Climate Action Plan will allow the district to outline ways in which we can implement climate adaptation and GHG reduction projects. We saw firsthand how intense and unpredictable wildfires can be with our close encounter with the Thomas Fire in 2017. This was a learning experience and we are now better equipped for future fires in our service area. We have to anticipate natural disasters such as floods and fires and also be prepared for power outages during extreme wind events. We are prepared for planned Public Safety Power Shut-offs (PSPS) and unexpected power outages with generators and fuel to keep our distribution and monitoring systems operational.

The district’s water system assets were included in the city of Carpinteria’s Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Analysis. This provided key insight about which of our facilities are vulnerable to sea level rise, flooding and coastal erosion. We are also working on reducing the district’s overall carbon footprint by encouraging district employees to take advantage of carpooling and public transit and are exploring additional ways to support renewable energy. There will be a public hearing scheduled for Dec. 11 for the district’s Climate Action Plan before it is adopted on Dec. 18.

We encourage our customers to continue using water wisely during our Stage One Water Shortage Condition. The district is offering free rain shut-off sensors for automatic irrigation controllers when customers schedule a Water Saving Survey. If you are interested in participating in this program, e-mail conservation@cvwd.net. For other district updates, visit our website cvwd.net, follow us on Twitter @CarpWater, or like Carpinteria Valley Water District on Facebook.           

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