The IWV Groundwater Authority is looking for applicants to its Policy Advisory Committee. Parties interested in applying can open the application at www.co.kern.ca.us/water/IWVGA-PAC-APPLICATION.pdf and email it to Lauren Duffy, IWVGA Clerk of the Board, at lduffy@iwvwd.com.

The introduction of the application states, “While the final structure of the Committee has yet to be formally adopted by the board, there has been general agreement that the individuals appointed to the Committee will be appointed to represent the interests of both the basin and the category of water user for their appointment.”

Thus far, the categories include large agriculture, small agriculture, business interests, domestic well owners, wholesalers, and industrial users. 

Even so, IWVGA chairman of the board Mick Gleason urged community members to apply to the PAC if they feel they have a voice that should be heard, even if they don’t represent a group currently listed in the official categories.

“If anyone has a hankering to be on a committee, put in an application,” he said.

IWVGA has repeatedly stated that they’ve intentionally kept the categories somewhat vague for the new committee because they can’t be sure of the best roster until they receive the applications. Until then, they urge the community to apply because this is their opportunity to play a critical role in the new groundwater agency forming which will be central to shaping the future of IWV.

IWVGA is the Groundwater Sustainability Agency for the IWV groundwater basin. In 2014, California governor Jerry Brown signed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act into law, which prompted regions to form GSAs which are responsible for forming a Groundwater Sustainability Plan for their respective basins. SGMA expects IWVGA to form a GSP by 2020, and put it into action by 2040. 

Other than the PAC, IWVGA also has a Technical Advisory Committee which will be responsible for scientific research and presenting IWVGA with strong technical data on the IWV basin. 

The role of PAC members will be to work cooperatively with other PAC members to review data from the TAC and form policy on what the IWV basin GSP should look like, then suggest that policy to the IWVGA board who will have the option of voting that policy into action.

IWVGA board members have also discussed hiring a Water Resources Manager, who will act as an independent liaison to ensure due process in the TAC and PAC, as well as help pass information between the PAC, TAC, and IWVGA board members.

Members of the PAC will meet monthly in public meetings to work through plans to achieve water sustainability and ensure that residents of IWV can plan to live in the valley for years to come.

The next IWVGA board meeting will be held on May 18. The board would like to form the PAC as soon as possible to get the ball rolling. Though there is no hard deadline, parties interested in applying are urged to do so by May 11.