‘We need to have a voice’

Water District calls for more involvement in groundwater sustainability efforts

By BRIAN COSNER, News Review Staff Writer

The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority met Thursday morning, where one of the closed session items was the public employee appointment of a Water Resources Manager. Directors of the IWV Water District touched on the item briefly during their regular meeting Monday, where some expressed frustrations regarding their lack of involvement.

IWVWD President Peter Brown introduced the topic where he said while IWVGA staff was interviewing several agencies for the WRM position, he had “no information whatsoever.”

“It frustrates me a little bit,” said Director Chuck Griffin. “I think the Water District is a vital player in this and we haven’t been included in the interviewing. We are the largest pumper besides agriculture – we need to have a voice.”

“It almost seems like one of the largest pumpers is being pushed out of a lot of the process,” added Director Ron Kicinski. “Being left out of this is unacceptable.”

Additionally, Griffin said that he only received the IWVGA agenda packet that day and hasn’t had a chance to review it. The absence of a timely flow of information is frequently a sore spot during Water District discussions regarding the Groundwater Authority.

“I got the packet today via email,” he said. “And I just got off work and came straight to this meeting. It really frustrates me that the county is just now sending this out.”

“If you haven’t had time to go over something, you just don’t approve it,” said Mike Neel during public comment. “That’s a brute force method, but sometimes you have to do it. You need more than three days. You guys aren’t even getting the agendas any earlier than the public is, and that’s not acceptable.”

Details from the IWVGA meeting were not available at press time. See future editions of the News Review for more information.

Story First Published: 2017-06-16