MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ALAMEDA COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
March 16, 2016
The following were present:
DIRECTORS: SANDS FIGUERS
ANGELA RAMIREZ HOLMES
DIRECTORS ABSENT: NONE
ZONE 7 STAFF: JILL DUERIG, GENERAL MANAGER
KURT ARENDS, ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER, ENGINEERING
OSBORN SOLITEI, ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER, FINANCE
AMPARO FLORES, ASSOCIATE ENGINEER,
LINDA VAN BUSKIRK, BOARD SECRETARY
COUNSEL: DAVID ALADJEM, DOWNEY BRAND
Item 2 - Open Session and Report Out of Closed Session
The Board came out of Closed Session at 6:58 p.m. and President Palmer said that no reportable actions had been taken in Closed Session.
Item 3 -
CALL TO ORDER / PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
President Palmer called the regular meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Item 4 - Pledge of Allegiance
President Palmer led in the Salute to the Flag.
Item 5 -
Dick Ryan, a former Zone 7 Director from the 1970s, spoke on hiking at Lake Del Valle. He urged the board to place an item on an upcoming agenda to discuss opening up the land owned by Zone 7 on the south side of the lake to the public for hiking access. Director Ramirez Holmes said that a Liaison Committee meeting is in fact currently scheduled for April 11, 2016 with the Tri Valley Conservancy, East Bay Regional Park District, Livermore Area Regional Park District and Zone 7 to discuss this topic.
Item 6 -
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETINGS OF FEBRUARY 17, 2016
Director Ramirez Holmes stated that under Item 9 at paragraph three on page four she would like the minutes to reflect her question about why diversification and local control were considered lower priority metrics in the presentation.
Director Quigley moved that the minutes be approved with the proposed correction, and Director Ramirez Holmes seconded the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 7-0.
Item 7 -
Director Quigley moved to approve Consent Item 7(a) and Director Stevens seconded the motion. The item was passed by a vote of 7-0.
Resolution No. 16-120 Authorized out-of-state travel to attend SmartEnergy 2016 Conference
Item 8 -
Item 8(a) - Employee of the Month Recognition - Ted Tang
General Manager Jill Duerig announced that the January Employee of the Month was Ted Tang who was present in the audience. Ted is a Water Resources Technician in the Flood Control Section. He represents the eyes and ears of the agency when hes out in the field performing facility inspections and emergency maintenance work. He is very knowledgeable in Civil 3D software and has been responsible for maintaining as-built drawings for the maintenance projects in Flood Control. He is always willing to reach out and help us. He is much appreciated. The Board thanked and applauded Mr. Tang for his accomplishments.
Item 8(b) - Congratulations to Retiree - Tom Hughes
Ms. Duerig extended congratulations to Tom Hughes, Assistant General Manager of Personnel, who retired from Zone 7 after almost 10 years of service. The Board recognized and applauded Mr. Hughes in absentia.
Director Stevens moved for approval of the resolution of appreciation and Director Greci seconded the motion, which was approved unanimously. President Palmer added that Tom Hughes has served Zone 7 well, accomplishing some very herculean labors in dealing with many agency issues. She congratulated him on his retirement.
Resolution No. 16-121 Congratulations to Retiree Tom Hughes
Item 9 -
SUPPORT FOR CALIFORNIA WATER ACTION PLAN AND CALIFORNIA WATERFIX
President Palmer advised that during the public comment portion of the item, speakers would be limited to a maximum of three minutes per person.
General Manager, Jill Duerig, introduced Amparo Flores, Associate Engineer, Integrated Planning who gave a presentation on the California Water Action Plan and California WaterFix, an agenda item continued from the February Board meeting. Staff put together additional information to address some of the comments and questions that were raised at the last Board meeting. Dr. Flores also informed the board that the March agenda packet included a revised resolution for the Boards consideration.
Further discussion ensued and staff responded to questions from the Board.
President Palmer asked if there were any comments from the public.
Sonia Diermayer, Oakland, speaking for the Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter and Sierra Club California, addressed the Board. The Sierra Club is convinced that the California WaterFix really won't fix anything. On the contrary, the tunnels project is very bad news for the Delta and for Zone 7. She urged the Board to use the Bay Area Regional Reliability process (BARR) to partner with neighboring agencies, which are transparent, ethical and reliable partner agencies. She further urged the Board to vote no on this resolution of support.
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Stockton, with Restore the Delta, addressed the Board. She represents the 30,000 Californians opposed to the Delta Tunnels, from the Oregon border down to San Diego. She provided the Board with a letter that was sent on behalf of Restore the Delta today to Governor Jerry Brown that helps to explain some of the financial risks involved with this project. She urged the Board to vote against the proposal that has been put out today and to seriously question potential business partners.
Mike Guzzardo, Discovery Bay, addressed the Board. He suggested working together to get more water by expanding more reservoirs and looking for other solutions such as desalination. He urged the Board to think about not only using the Delta as a water conveyance, but saving it for generations to come as a place where kids and their parents can go fishing, relaxing, and enjoying a wonderful habitat that should be a saved as a natural resource. He said this WaterFix plan isn't going to provide one more drop of water.
Gerry Ng, addressed the Board in support of waiting to express support for the California WaterFix. He suggests finding another solution such as stopping the building of more homes as the population is creating the problems that we have. He urged the Board to listen to some of the people saying we shouldn't be doing this as it could take away our natural resources, ruin the Delta, and we will never be able to recover it again.
Tamara Reus, Livermore, addressed the Board. She expressed concern that the Board seemed to have made up their minds before hearing from all the good people in the audience on this issue. She encouraged the Board to get the facts from all sides and make a decision that is based on sound science and environmental considerations. She encourages protecting the Delta, not shipping water to southern California (because that is a big political element of this), listening to the people who have elected the Board, and voting no on this resolution.
Daniel Kitt, Pleasanton, addressed the Board. He stated that there are no environmental groups of any significance/consequence that are supporting the California WaterFix and added that there are huge amounts of scientific data that are not supporting this. He encouraged the Board to think about what it is doing because there are a lot of issues that remain unknown, whether it is financial or technical. There is very little transparency and there is a reason for that. He urged the Board not to vote yes on a commitment tonight until the commitment is understood.
Douglas Wetmore, a Livermore resident and member of the Tri-Valley Fly Fishers Group, addressed the Board. He came this evening with other members to witness what the Board is discussing and get a better understanding of the California WaterFix. He supported what Daniel Kit said, and further urged the Board against supporting the California WaterFix.
Jean King, Livermore, addressed the Board. She agreed that it is very important for the Board to listen to the speakers and hear what they have to say before deciding on the issue. She agreed that there are too many unanswered questions and that more information should be gathered about whether or not the California WaterFix satisfies the EIR and whether the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Acts are followed. She supports the part of it which concentrates on water efficiencies, recycling and conservation. She does not support the tunnels, stating that they will be an incredibly expensive way to move water, both financially and environmentally. She encouraged looking into other less expensive options for creating local water such as improving water efficiencies, water recycling, water conservation, ground water, and surface water storage. She asked the Board not to adopt the resolution today.
Jonas Minton, with the Planning and Conservation League, addressed the Board. He stated a key element to the California WaterFix is cost and who is going to pay it. It is important to understand where the Ag districts are on this, as Mark Cowin of DWR had said. He distributed a list of quotes from others in the water industry that discussed the financial viability of this project. He stressed that the Board should not be pre-decisional and do its due diligence. He urged the Board to wait to support the California WaterFix, stating that he sees no reason at this time for Zone 7 to get ahead of all the other districts.
Mike Godfrey, Livermore, addressed the Board and commended its members and staff on doing a great job of trying to meet fiduciary responsibilities. He said this is a very complicated issue, and even though it is necessary to have water, he suggested the agency explore other possibilities, and urged the Board to reconsider its vote this evening.
Ron Bernhardt, a Livermore resident for 38 years, addressed the Board. He said that as part of the Bay Delta Region, it makes sense for Zone 7 to align itself with the other Bay Delta communities to protect the long term health of the San Francisco Bay Delta Estuary and that instead of spending money on planning and supporting the Delta tunnels, which will not meet the standards under the Clean Water Act or the Endangered Species Act for the Delta, it would be much more cost effective and responsible to pursue good conservation measures, and to draw available water from the Delta during wet periods. He encouraged the Board not to take action on the proposed resolution, or to simply vote no.
Chelle Clements, Livermore, addressed the Board. She said she voted against the peripheral canal back in 1982. Her position has not changed, and the California WaterFix looks just like it. She further stated that this new idea has not been approved by any other water commission, and she does not think Zone 7 should be the first. She shared that back in 1977 during that drought, a pipe was placed across the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge to get water to Marin. Marin has since addressed its own issues and now their reservoirs are full enough that they can take care of all of their people for at least two years without any more rainfall. She asked why cant the rest of us be doing more water saving like that?
John Pitts, Livermore, addressed the Board and said he is in agreement with the other speakers before him. He is in favor of utilizing more reservoirs in the wet years so that we can use that water in the dry years. He urged the Board to take the money that would be spent on the tunnels and use that money instead on more storage. He further urged the Board to have more research done on the total cost of this project. He concluded by asking the Board to either vote no or to at least postpone its decision.
Margaret Tracy, Livermore, addressed the Board. She expressed her concern over the quality of the water that Zone 7 will be using over our groundwater basin. She questions what using water from a sewage origin will do to our central basin, adding that a professor at Cal said that in 50 years we will have polluted our groundwater so that it will not be useful. For the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and those who are to come, she urged the Board not to use recycled waste water over our central basin.
Joan Buchanan, Alamo, addressed the Board. She is very much opposed to the tunnels. Those pipes underneath the Delta are not the same as the pipes that EBMUD or SFPUC has, and they are not going to create more water for the Delta or Zone 7. She suggested the agency should know what it's going to cost, especially when other members are dropping out. To go into this project now with all these unanswered questions regarding what the real cost is going to be, in her opinion, is really premature. She suggested taking advantage of state funds under Proposition 1 to expand the storage capacity at Los Vaqueros Reservoir and participating there. She also encouraged spending money to help agriculture/farmers use conservation to save significant dollars there. Lastly, she talked about desalination, and recycle/reuse.
Joseph Rizzi, Benicia, addressed the Board. Mr. Rizzi handed out information to the Board regarding locks and louvers at Benicia to control salinity in the Delta to bring the Delta back to a freshwater estuary the way it used to be. His organization deals in natural desalination with zero energy. He encouraged the Board to be responsible and to look at other alternatives, like those at seaspringnow.com, and encouraged the Board to vote no this evening.
Doug Mann, Livermore, addressed the Board. He commended Zone 7 for being a very well run agency. He then expressed disappointment to see essentially no reference to the environment in the presentation. He reiterated that, as others have expressed, the tunnels are a bad idea and that there are alternatives for something better. He stated there is no rush to support this item today, and that it would be irresponsible to vote now to support the tunnels. He urged the Board to wait.
Matt Morrison, Pleasanton, addressed the Board, saying he was disheartened by the fact that the majority stated their position before hearing from the public and posing comment. He believes the least expensive and most environmentally safe way to meet Zone 7's future water needs is through conservation and public education. He urged the Directors not to become the public relations tool for huge Southern California agriculture and urban water agencies such as Westlands Water District in the Southern Central Valley and Metropolitan Water District in Los Angeles and not to support the California WaterFix.
Brittney Beach, San Ramon resident who works at Bishop Ranch, addressed the Board to voice that she is against the Delta Tunnels. She asked if Mammoth Mountain receives 400 inches of snow annually, why cant they use their Sierra Nevadas? She stated she does not think we need to control water overflowing into the bay naturally by building more infrastructures.
Lauren Rhodes addressed the Board on the will of the California people to protect our environment by conservation. He urged the Board to consider the issues and try to protect the environment.
Ron Flores, addressed the Board regarding the tremendous quality of life here around the Deltas fresh water estuary. He is concerned that moving fresh water to the south would create a polluted estuary with no fresh water, but one with salty water that would not support fruit trees, and that would negatively affect our quality of life.
A motion was made by President Palmer, seconded by Director Ramirez Holmes, to postpone the consideration of support for the California Water Action Plan and California WaterFix until the agency receives the final EIR.
A motion was then made by Director Stevens, seconded by Director Quigley, to table the motion made by President Palmer to postpone the consideration of this issue. The motion failed by a roll call vote of 0-6 with Director Stevens abstaining.
In response to David Aladjem, Legal Counsels, question to clarify the timeline - whether the motion to postpone will be until after the environmental document is completed or some other time, President Palmer responded until it is completed and the Board has time to review it.
The motion was passed by a roll call vote of 6-1 with Director Stevens voting no.
President Palmer addressed the audience and stated that the Board is listening to them and will weigh the pros and cons.
President Palmer called for a brief recess at 9:40 p.m. and reconvened the meeting at 9:44 p.m.
Item 10 -
ADOPTION OF THE 2015 URBAN WATER MANAGEMENT PLAN
President Palmer announced that Director Figuers had to leave for a few minutes.
General Manager, Jill Duerig, reintroduced Dr. Amparo Flores, Associate Engineer with the Integrated Planning group, who presented a summary of the 2015 Urban Water Management Plan. The preparation of the UWMP is required by the Urban Water Management Planning Act. These plans are required to be updated every five years and to cover a 20-year planning horizon. This plan covers 2015 to 2025 and it incorporates the agencys updated demands that have been collected from the retailers. It also reflects the findings from DWRs 2015 Delivery Capability Report, formerly called the Reliability Report, and it incorporates lessons from the current drought and findings from the Water Supply Evaluation Update. Additionally, it reflects Zone 7s Reliability Policy and finally, it conforms to DWRs revised guidebook as there are stringent guidelines in terms of how information is prepared and presented in these urban water management plans.
Director Figuers returned to the meeting at 9:55 p.m.
Ms. Duerig added that Zone 7 had received a comment letter on the afternoon of the board meeting from the Hacienda Business Group which was copied and made available to the Board and public at the meeting.
Further discussion ensued and staff responded to questions from the Board.
President Palmer opened the public hearing.
Dan McIntyre, Dublin San Ramon Services District, said that the DSRSD Board considered the Urban Water Management Plan of Zone 7 at its March 1st board meeting. DSRSD sent Zone 7 a letter dated March 7, 2016 with comments, and that is included in this items staff report. Mr. McIntyre expressed appreciation for the opportunity to provide comments and to work with Zone 7 Staff during the development of the draft document. He commended Dr. Flores and the rest of the Zone 7 Staff for their excellent work and said DSRSD is pleased with the document. They appreciate the collaboration on the Water Shortage Contingency Plan and aligning some of the goals and the targets between the retailers plans and the Zone 7 plan which works really well. DSRSD also appreciates the extra attention on addressing some of the emerging water reliability concerns, with a clear emphasis on the idea of desalination and water purification that are now reflected in the report. From DSRSDs perspective, they would like to see even more emphasis on the idea of desalination and potable reuse. Overall, he said this is a good first step and suggested a second step in that process would be in accordance with Dublin San Ramon Service Districts policy on diversification and greater local control. DSRSD would also recommend that the Zone 7 Board explicitly add to its Water Reliability Policy an emphasis on diversification and local control of water supply.
David Lunn addressed the Board. While looking at Table 3. Single Dry Year: Supply and Demand Comparison, he talked about how the general public doesnt really understand how water gets delivered. He suggested that anything Zone 7 can do to make that more understandable would be better, which could include adding information to the plan on recharge and pumping capacity.
Brittney Beach addressed the Board. She added that she does not agree that the California WaterFix is evidence of supply considering it has not been voted on and, as the report states as well, it will not start producing until 2020. For a 5-year plan, she does not think it is applicable.
President Palmer closed the public hearing.
Director Stevens moved to approve Item 10, as is, and Director McGrail seconded the motion. The item was passed by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Resolution No. 16-122 Adopted the 2015 Urban Water Management Plan, Including the
Water Shortage Contingency Plan
Item 11 -
A Water Agency Liaison Committee/Water Policy roundtable met on February 11, 2016. The meeting notes and copies of the presentations are included in the agenda packet.
Item 12 -
a. Verbal comments by President
b. Written report by Director Quigley
c. Verbal reports
President Palmer had no verbal comments.
Director Quigley attended the annual Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair as a judge along with two of the agencys engineers, Karen Newton and Travis Baggett. Over 685 very bright students from Alameda County participated. President Palmer also had over 60 high school students attending. Some students and their projects will be highlighted at the May board meeting during Water Awareness Month.
Director Ramirez Holmes attended the February 24th Pleasanton State of the City Address. Recycling and the purple pipe project as well as water conservation and efforts by the community in 2015 and ongoing were discussed. On March 9th she attended the Chamber 2020 Forum at which our General Manager, Jill Duerig, was the guest speaker. On March 11th she attended the Elected Womens Lunch where she handed out Fix a Leak Week materials along with tablets for checking toilets for leaks to spread awareness there.
Item 13 -
ITEMS FOR FUTURE AGENDA
Director McGrail asked what the agencys drought surcharge plan is and when will the agency be revisiting that? Osborn Solitei, Assistant General Manager, Finance responded that the current conservation surcharge will sunset December 31, 2016 and Zone 7 is in the process of creating a 2-year budget to look at all assumptions for water demands and expenditures. More information will come during the budget process regarding whether another temporary surcharge will be required or not. At this time the plan is to revisit water rates, including the possibility of conservation surcharges, in the fall.
Item 14 -
a. General Managers Report
b. Drought Update
c. Water Inventory Update
d. Outreach Activities
e. Legislative Update
f. Verbal Reports
Ms. Duerig reported very exciting news that since March 1 very steep rises in water levels have been seen at both Shasta and Oroville. Both reservoirs are above the average levels for this day in the history of those two facilities, which is the first time in several years they have been above average. The only one that is significantly below average still, and which impacts Zone 7 directly, is San Luis -- which again points to the problems of moving the water from north of the Delta to storage facilities south of the Delta.
President Palmer noted the upcoming board meetings, including the April 11th Liaison Committee Meeting.
Item 15 -
The meeting was adjourned at 10:33 p.m.