August 24, 2022 Water Committee Meeting Agenda
3:00 to 5:00 pm – Zoom
Introductions and Committee Ground rules 5 minutes:
Featured Presentation 1 hour, 50 minutes:
Presenter: Rob Swartz, Manager of Technical Services for the Regional Water Authority and the Sacramento Groundwater Authority
Mr. Swartz has over thirty-five years of water resource and water project planning and implementation experience. He has been RWA’s Manager of Technical Services since 2003 and has recently led the technical development of the COSANA model and the development of the Sacramento Groundwater Basin, Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP). Mr. Swartz is also leading RWA’s efforts to develop and implement a Regional Groundwater Bank. Mr. Swartz plans to include some of the modeling experts who designed the COSANA model in the discussion.
Mr. Swartz will present a technical and policy presentation/discussion on: 1) The development and use of the COSANA model in planning and managing the region’s groundwater resources; and 2) The status of the Regional Groundwater Authority’s efforts to formulate and implement a Regional Groundwater Bank.
Why are these issues important to you?
1) The COSANA model is a newly developed analytical tool that water managers are using to understand and help manage the region’s three groundwater basins – the Cosumnes, South American and North American Subbasins. This tool is used to determine each subbasin’s water budget and sustainable pumping level. Going forward the COSANA model will assist managers in understanding and interpreting empirical pumping data as well as potential impacts on Groundwater Depended Ecosystems (GDE) and shallow wells from future basin groundwater pumping. To have confidence in the model it is important to understand its sensitivity, how it is calibrated, and what its margin of error is. The COSANA model is only as predictive as the quality of the empirical data it makes use of. The initial round of GSPs all indicate a need for additional monitoring wells to more fully understand each subbasin. We are interested in what efforts are going on within each subbasin to improve the monitoring systems and how these efforts will improve future COSANA results. Finally, COSANA is one of several modeling tools water managers use. We would like to understand how this model’s results correlate with other ground and surface water models, and in turn, how all these model outputs are integrated to inform water managers regarding the appropriate and sustainable use of Ground and Surface water resources.
2) The region’s water managers have invested heavily in conjunctive use to achieve regional water supply sustainability. Water Banking is the process of utilizing underground aquifers to either retain groundwater and use excess surface water in its stead or store excess surface water in the ground during wet years so that the resulting groundwater is available for use in place of surface water during dry years when surface water supplies are not as prevalent. Understanding how the Water Bank will be structured and managed as both a water purveyor and regional asset is important, and ECOS has requested a seat at the table for future discussions on the Water Bank structure, management criteria, and governance.
Committed Discussion Process:
Time will be set aside at key points during the presentation for questions/clarifications and discussion. Participants can introduce their questions either by raising their hand in the Zoom tools or by making use of the chat function. For those without these options, time will be set aside for your questions as well.
Committee Action Item Summary:
The Committee finalized and released two letters following the July meeting. Both are published on the ECOS web site. One was Addressed to the County Board of Supervisors noting our objection to an action being taken by the County Parks Department to install Seven acres of irrigated turf. The second was a letter in support of a $2.6 million grant to fund a planning study for the RiverArc project.
The Sacramento County Draft Climate Action Plan will be released very soon, and the Committee will follow up on its earlier recommendations regarding water conservation and regional landscaping.
Thanks, and meeting closure 5 minutes
The Committee meetings are open to the public. Zoom access – link above or on the ECOS web page under meeting schedules. The next Committee meeting is September 28, time 3:00-5:00 (tentative).