MEETING NOTES: Public-private groundwater recharge program at North Kern Water Storage District gets underway

November 10, 2023
Sonia Lemus, freelance for SJV Water
by Sonia Lemus, freelance for SJV Water
CVP: Central Valley Project. CVC: Cross Valley Canal. KCWA SWP: Kern County Water Agency, State Water Project.
Sonia Lemus, freelance for SJV Water
Sonia Lemus, freelance for SJV Water

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* “Meeting Notes” is a new feature focused on Kern County water districts, funded through a grant from the James B. McClatchy Foundation. Please consider supporting SJV Water to continue this important coverage.

Meeting: North Kern Water Storage District board of directors

Date: Oct. 17, 2023


Board packet: CLICK HERE

Major topic: Agreement between North Kern and Premiere Agricultural Properties LLC for joint groundwater banking.

So far: At its Sept. 14 meeting, the district approved environmental documents to expand its groundwater recharge capacity to begin its Landowner Groundwater Banking and Recharge program.

Board action: Partnership agreement with Premiere Agricultural Properties was approved by the board Construction was expected to begin soon after the partnership was approved.

Details:  Per the board packet, the overall project will consist of 1,726 acres spreading grounds/recharge basins with a capacity to recharge up to 330,000 acre feet per year or 200 cubic feet per second (cfs). The agreement with Premiere will use 10 cfs of the project’s total recharge capacity.

In order to recover banked water, the proposed project would include nine wells, with an average pumping capacity of 5.5 cfs and 8.92 miles of pipeline, including one existing well tie-in and two discharge points to the Friant-Kern Canal. 

The proposed project would be divided into two sections, one in the Rosedale area and another near the Famoso/Wasco area.

The district would drill the nine wells and install the proposed Friant-Kern Canal tie-in, and pipelines in fall 2023, or as soon as environmental approvals are obtained, regardless of month or season. The two proposed Friant-Kern Canal discharge outfalls would likely be constructed during the typical maintenance period, which is November through January. 

This new project is in addition to the district’s existing 1,500 acres of recharge basins.

New groundwater recharge project locations in the North Kern Water Storage District.
Sonia Lemus, freelance for SJV Water

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