LOWER TULE RIVER AND PIXLEY IRRIGATION DISTRICTS
Groundwater Being Discussed
A task force comprised of landowners continues to meet every few months to talk through the growing concern over groundwater depletion within the Lower Tule River and Pixley irrigation districts and to determine what can be done to correct the problem.
“This is entirely a landowner driven effort,” said Dan Vink, General Manager. “The district is simply helping facilitate the process.”
The task force is exploring a variety of options ranging from new supplies to conservation to even the possibility of self-imposed regulation if that is what is necessary to preserve the underground water supply.
It has been agreed that the current rate of use is not sustainable.
Goals guiding the process include engaging landowners in the discussion of what approaches are necessary to preserve the resource for future generations; having landowners direct solutions and take ownership of the process; and ultimately have the landowners decide if they want to make the tough changes necessary to reach a level of sustainability.
“At the end of the day, the overarching goal is to have groundwater use be at a sustainable level in order to preserve the land values and to be able to continue to farm,” said Vink.
“This entire process, and these conversations are not easy,” he added. “It will take a very focused level of concentration and sacrifice to put this region in a position to be balanced in the use of groundwater.
The next step is having staff and consultants meet later this month with groundwater agencies in the Chino and Orange County basins to review their structure for monitoring and metering groundwater. They will report back to the task force group in August.