Water to become a standing agenda item
With the Department of Water Resources renegotiating with its 27 state water contractors, the topic will be included routinely on the Board of Supervisors agenda.
The Plumas County Flood Control District is one of the water contractors.
“We as a flood control district have three customers,” Public Works Director Bob Perreault told the supervisors May 7. “The city of Portola, the Grizzly Lake Community Services District and the Grizzly Ranch Golf Course.”
Perreault, along with County Counsel Craig Settlemire and water consultant Leah Wills, will be negotiating on behalf of the county.
They attended the May 1 kick-off meeting during which the Department of Water Resources briefed all of the water contractors on the process.
The trio will continue to meet and strategize, as well as attend the state water contractor meetings to be held in Sacramento every other week.
“What is important to Plumas County is the necessity to preserve the rights we have under the Monterey Agreement,” Perreault said.
The original Monterey Agreement was an accord reached in 1994 between the Department of Water Resources and some of the state’s water contracts to allocate water throughout the state. Plumas officials objected because they thought the agreement could jeopardize the area’s water rights and that it did not compensate the upper watershed.
The county, along with two other litigants, sued and ultimately negotiated a settlement, known as the Monterey Amendment.
The Department of Water Resources is now trying to renew all of its state water contracts simultaneously — from Plumas and Butte counties in the north to Riverside County in southern California.
Plumas County’s contract with the state includes Lake Davis, and Antelope and Frenchman lakes.
According to information provided by the Department of Water Resources, California voters approved a $1.75 billion bond in 1960 to fund the State Water Project.
Under the contracts signed between the state and 27 public agencies (known as the state water contractors, of which Plumas County is one) the agencies would receive specified amounts of water each year from the State Water Project.
The project provides water for 25 million residents and irrigates more than 750,000 agricultural acres.