The San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District (” District”) has completed the 2016 Engineering Investigation (EI) of the Bunker Hill Basin. The draft EI was presented to the Board at its February 10th Board Meeting and will be presented to the Board for approval at its March 9th Board of Directors meeting to be held at the District Office at 1:30 p.m. This report is required in connection with the Board of Directors’ consideration of a groundwater charge on groundwater production within the Conservation District’s boundaries. Article 1, Section 75560 of the California Water Code, requires that a water conservation district that proposes to levy or continue a groundwater extraction fee “…shall annually cause to be made an engineering investigation and report upon groundwater conditions of the District.” A copy of the Conservation District’s 2016 EI report is available for review online at the District’s website at http://www.sbvwcd.org/reports-and-data/engineering-investigation.html or at the District’s office at 1630 West Redlands Blvd., Suite A, Redlands, CA.
This notice is provided to advise all interested parties that District staff is recommending no rate increase for the upcoming water year, and the use of rate stabilization reserves to the District’s Board of Directors, to maintain the current groundwater rate of $3.23 per acre-foot for groundwater production for direct agricultural production and $11.62 per acre-foot for groundwater production for non-agricultural purposes. These rates are proposed to pertain to agricultural and non-agricultural groundwater production from July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017. California Water Code 75594 dictates that the rate for non-agricultural groundwater production must be between three and five times the rate for agricultural use. The groundwater charge is not imposed on a property basis, but rather is a per acre-foot charge, which relates directly to the amount of groundwater produced from wells overlying the groundwater basin within the Conservation District’s boundaries. Consequently, the ultimate amount of groundwater charge to be paid by individual operators cannot be precisely identified now, because it will depend directly upon the amount and purposes of groundwater produced in the basin from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. Assuming similar levels of agricultural and non-agricultural production as occurred in 2015-2016, the total revenue estimated to be collected from both agricultural (14,600 af) and non-agricultural production (70,000 af) for the 2016-2017 water year is $860,558. The groundwater charge is collected on a semi-annual basis, based on production statements operators submit for their groundwater production. The District uses the proceeds of the groundwater charge to fund ongoing groundwater replenishment of the basin, including direct water recharge, facility operations repairs and maintenance, and related costs. A public meeting and public hearing on the proposed groundwater charge will be held in the Conservation District’s Board Room located at 1630 West Redlands Blvd., Suite A, Redlands, CA 92373. The date and time for the public meeting will be April 13, 2016, at 1:30 pm. The date and time of the public hearing will be held on April 27, 2016, at 1:30 pm. You are invited to attend the public meeting and public hearing, and may submit evidence concerning groundwater conditions, water supplies of the Conservation District, rates, or any matter relating to the proposed groundwater charge.
In addition, any party wishing to protest the proposed increase to the groundwater charge, may mail a protest to the Conservation District’s office at the address provided above, and/or present such protest at the public meeting or public hearing. Further inquiries regarding the report or the groundwater charge, or requests for further information, may be directed to Daniel B. Cozad at 1630 West Redlands Blvd., Suite A, Redlands, CA 92373, or by telephone at (909) 793-2503.