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August 9, 2017 – The question before the NID Board today is whether to authorize their general manager to spend your money on the preparation of an application for a billion dollar dam proposal without looking at the pools of money available under Proposition One for other opportunities including groundwater storage and meadow restoration.
NID’s application for dam funding under the Water Storage Investment Program is problematic in multiple ways. Meanwhile, there is another pool of money under Proposition 1 called Integrated Regional Water Management funding. This funding is intended to improve regional water self-reliance security and adapt to the effects on water supply arising out of climate change. (Sounds a lot like the stated purpose and need for the proposed Centennial EIR.) Some of this funding is targeted specifically for our region consisting of the Mountain Counties from below Lassen to Fresno, a small area of competition.
The project applications are due at the same time yet NID has not pursued an application under this category. The criteria for eligible projects includes: Projects designed to promote and practice integrated regional water management to ensure sustainable water uses, reliable water supplies, better water quality, environmental stewardship, efficient urban development, protection of agriculture, and a strong economy. Why has NID neglected this opportunity for funding and failed to develop projects that meet these criteria?
Another pool of money available under Proposition One is for groundwater improvement projects. Many in our area are concerned more about diminished groundwater than another reservoir, yet NID did not pursue any funding or analysis to investigate this local concern. In light of the new direction provided by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, a change of course is in order. NID has for too long followed the lead of their general manager, an unelected position, and abdicated their authority to represent the citizens of our communities. It is time to focus on other measures to meet today’s water challenges. Please employ the patience and wisdom for a thoughtful, informed and measured approach to water management. Our communities deserve nothing less.
The Suarez Family Cam, Dianna, Donavon, Jessie and Cruz “Walk tall as the trees, Live strong as the mountains, Be gentle as the spring winds, Keep the summer sun in your heart and the Great Spirit will always be with you.”