By Patty Poire, President, Kern County Farm Bureau
Here we are, already in February 2022, and at the time that I am writing this monthly article, unfortunately the Department of Water Resources (DWR) has not provided to the Kern subbasin their review of the Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). Their review letter is due to the Kern subbasin in late January which will provide details on where DWR sees deficiencies or lack of detailed information in the GSPs to comply with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). I am looking to receive an “Incomplete” determination by DWR and not an “Inadequate.” The action by DWR of an “Incomplete” begins the clock of 180 days to provide corrective actions or additional information to DWR. Whereas an “Inadequate” triggers the engagement of the State Water Board. If you have not seen or heard about the decision by DWR as you are reading this, I suggest that you contact the Kern County Farm Bureau or your water district manager to obtain a copy of the determination. Your engagement as a farmer and/or a landowner is going to be vital.
One great item that this year has started with already is the snow and rain that occurred in December and early January. As of January 3, 2022 “more precipitation has fallen on California during its current water year than in the full prior 12-month span,” the National Weather Service says. The snowpack was measured at 78.5 inches of snow by the first snow survey of 2022, which is double the historic average for the date of the survey. Unfortunately, the State came out early in an unprecedented decision to announce 0% initial allocation for the State Water Project. The push is going to continue to put pressure on the State Water Board to allow for storage and deliveries as the reservoirs fill. The Kern County Farm Bureau will continue to provide e-blast information on the status of the reservoirs. (See graphic below.)
On January 20, the Kern County Farm Bureau held its annual Spray Safe program. I hope that you or some of your employees were able to participate. This year, Julie Henderson, the new Director of the Department of Pesticide attended. She spent the entire day here in Kern and participated in the event as well as met with several landowners to seek input on the development of a statewide notification system.
Unfortunately, the legislators are back in Sacramento. Things have not changed when it comes to legislators and their need to “control” via regulations. New legislation just began on January 1st, 2022, but legislators are already making additional adjustments to those new regulations as well as “inventing” new ones.
Through 2022 the continued engagement by your Kern County Farm Bureau will not waiver, but as I always say your engagement is vital. I hope to see you at the next Kern County Farm Bureau meeting.