Zone 7 Meeting - July 20, 2022
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ALAMEDA COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
July 20, 2022
The following were present:
DIRECTORS: DAWN BENSON
ANGELA RAMIREZ HOLMES
ZONE 7 STAFF: VALERIE PRYOR, GENERAL MANAGER
JARNAIL CHAHAL, ENGINEERING MANAGER
AMPARO FLORES, INTEGRATED PLANNING MANAGER
ALEXANDRA BRADLEY, COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST
DONNA FABIAN, EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
COUNSEL: REBECCA SMITH, DOWNEY BRAND
Item 1 - Call Zone 7 Water Agency Meeting to Order
President Ramirez Holmes called the Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors to order at 7:00 p.m.
Item 2 -
Donna Fabian, Board Secretary, swore in newly elected Board Member Dawn Benson, and re-elected Board Members Dennis Gambs, Sarah Palmer, and Olivia Sanwong.
Item 3 - Closed Session - CANCELED
Item 4 -
Closed Session was canceled so there was nothing to report.
Item 5 -
Item 6 -
6. Roll Call of Directors - all Directors were present.
Item 7 -
President Ramirez Holmes nominated Vice President Sarah Palmer for President of the Board of Directors for 2022-23. The Board approved the nomination by a roll call vote of 7-0. President Palmer nominated Director Sandy Figuers as Vice President. The Board approved the nomination by a roll call vote of 6-0-1 with Director Figuers abstaining.
Item 8 -
8. Public Comment - none
Item 9 -
President Palmer pulled Item 9d. Director Ramirez Holmes made a motion to approve items 9a, 9b, 9c, 9e and 9f and Director Benson seconded the motion. The items were approved by a roll call vote of 7-0. President Palmer asked if the position of Technology Project Coordinator was a new position or if it is replacing an old one. Valerie Pryor, General Manager, replied that normally a staff engineer provides project management but there are no flood engineers on staff so this position will provide project management. President Palmer moved to approve the item and Director Green seconded the motion. Item 9d was approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Item 10 -
The minutes of June 1st were approved by a roll call vote of 6-0 with Director Benson abstaining. The minutes of June 9th were approved by a roll call vote of 5-0 with Director Benson and President Palmer abstaining. The minutes of June 15th were approved by a roll call vote of 6-0 with Director Benson abstaining.
Item 11 -
Alexandra Bradley, Communications Specialist, presented the bi-annual communications program update. President Palmer stated that she appreciated the efforts to coordinate with other agencies. Director Green asked what the future plans are for conservation. Ms. Bradley responded that the Department of Water Resources (DWR) hired a consultant to run the Save Our Water Campaign and she has noticed that there have been markedly increased efforts to coordinate on a local and regional level with drought messaging. Director Benson asked if there is any focus on digital ads on billboards in the 680/580 corridor and Ms. Bradley replied there is not. Director Benson asked if the regional collaboration is with East Bay agencies or the entire Bay Area. Ms. Bradley responded that she participates in a Bay Area regional communications committee with agencies from Vallejo down to the South Bay.
Item 12 -
President Palmer nominated Director Gambs as the ACWA/JPIA representative and Director Green as the alternate representative. The nominations were approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Item 13 -
Jan Lee, Assistant General Manager for the Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) provided an overview of the regional Purified Water Pilot Project stating that DSRSD and Alameda County Water District (ACWD) have been studying the potential to develop a purified water pilot project in collaboration with other Bay Area water and wastewater agencies, including Zone 7 Water Agency. She stated that they recently completed phase one which was a feasibility study. Ms. Lee added that potable reuse, or purified water, is produced using advanced treatment technologies that purify wastewater to a high enough quality that it can be used to augment drinking water supplies which is one of multiple water supply options that are being explored within the region to improve long term water resiliency. Ms. Lee reported that the next steps are that the interested parties would develop a memorandum of agreement which would lay out the roles and responsibilities for phase two. The estimated cost for participation in phase two is $25,000 per agency. This money would be used to hire a consultant to assist the agencies in preparing public outreach and education materials, as well as conduct some of the outreach.
Director Ramirez Holmes asked about Zone 7's roles and responsibilities. Ms. Lee replied that it is dependent on which agencies participate to determine what the scope of work would be for public outreach. Director Ramirez Holmes asked what state permits and process needs to happen for the water to be placed in the Arroyo de la Laguna. Ms. Pryor responded that there has been a lot of discussion about the permitting required from the Regional Water Control Board and it will be strictly regulated and permitted. Director Ramirez Holmes wanted to understand how this would affect the groundwater basin. Ms. Lee replied that it would be included in phase three.
Director Sanwong stressed her concern about the time of the year the water would be released into the creek and how it would affect flood control. Ms. Lee replied that it is a very small amount of flow, about 0.2 million gallons per day. Ms. Pryor added that it is such a small amount of flow that it would be manageable and can be shut off at any time.
Director Green asked why the granular activated carbon (GAC) component, storage buffer, and membrane filtration were missing from the feasibility study. Ms. Lee responded that the slide is schematic. It could be membrane filtration, microfiltration, or ultrafiltration. And as far as the GAC it depends on the end use of it. The 2018 study looked at several different endpoints and end uses, and some were more direct forms of potable reuse, and some were more indirect forms. That would be something they would look at as the pilot is developed. In the feasibility study, they looked at a more robust treatment train, but for the level of what they are doing, which is putting it in a creek and having it travel 15 miles before it is recharged, that additional environmental buffer was not needed.
Director Green wanted to know if discharges of tritium from the Lawrence Livermore Lab or the Sandia Lab would make it into the stream. Ms. Lee stated she was not familiar with those sources, but she could get the information. Director Green said it is important for her to know.
Director Gambs stated that the capital cost is $2.3 million and the O&M cost is $340,000 and asked who would be paying the bulk cost of the project. Ms. Pryor responded that the $25,000 is only contributing to the outreach costs, and the $2.3 million in capital O&M costs are to be determined. Phase two would help make decisions about whether to proceed with phase three.
Director Gambs thought it was good to learn about the treatment of the wastewater that could potentially be used in the area. He asked if the pilot program will be used to see how it works in Zone 7's basin in the future. Ms. Pryor indicated that as the Agency moves forward, everything learned from each phase could be applied to any projects they may wish to pursue.
Director Figuers addressed some of the questions raised about the geology of the western basin. He stated there would be limited concerns.
Director Benson asked if Zone 7's contribution would be up to $25,000 and whether that would change as other agencies decide to participate in the pilot. Ms. Lee explained they estimated about $100,000 to $150,000 for the public outreach process and part of it depends on how many agencies expressed interest in moving forward. Currently, Union Sanitary District, ACWD, and DSRSD have considered the item and expressed interest in moving forward. Zone 7 and the City of Livermore were still considering the item, but depending on the makeup of agencies, they estimated about $100,000 to $125,000 in funding with each contributing $25,000.
Director Benson asked if the O&M piece would be done by Zone 7, DSRSD, and ACWD. Ms. Pryor stated that had not been decided, as it would depend on how phase two goes. The various agencies would then decide how, if, and to what level they would participate in phase three.
Director Sanwong asked about the collaborations with San Francisco Public Utility Commission (SFPUC) and where they would need to be consulted about this project. Ms. Lee clarified that SFPUC has not been a direct participant in the project. They were currently partnered with ACWD and Union Sanitary District looking at potable reuse opportunities within the Tri-City area, but certainly, through ACWD, they would look to them to do some coordination with SFPUC as they move into the next phase of the effort.
President Palmer reminded everyone that this was a "purified water pilot program" which meant there was going to be a learning curve. She asked if there was a potential for doing something similar in the Tri-Valley region, given the input is from stakeholders and interested parties. Ms. Lee said that was correct, and it would depend on how they move through these phases, the level of interest, and the success of the effort.
Public comment was received from Kelly Abreu and Linda Kelly.
Director Green felt it was a little premature as there were parts to it that needed to be developed, especially when it came to safety concerns. She was not sold on potable reuse yet, even with the feasibility study.
Director Ramirez Holmes noted that the pilot project will move on with or without the Agency's participation. She also clarified that Zone 7 was only being asked to participate in the outreach component but was not being asked to participate in the pilot project itself. The resolution was to pass $25,000 to participate in phase two, which is the public outreach and monitoring of grant funding opportunities. She loved transparency, communication, and studies that illuminate things for the Agency to help it make future decisions. She felt education about purified water is important to communicate to the public.
Director Ramirez Holmes made a motion to approve the item and Director Figuers seconded the motion.
Director Sanwong expressed her support for the project.
Director Green stated that she was not sold on the project. She raised the issues that the City of Pleasanton had in an advisory vote 20+ years ago so she could not support it.
President Palmer stated that there has been a lot of work that has been done since the City of Pleasanton expressed concerns about toilet-to-tap 20+ years ago. There has been a lot of work that has gone on since, and a lot of agencies and regions have developed the technology. She did not think Zone 7 was too early in the game but felt they were actually too late. The project was indirect potable reuse which was quite different in terms of people's acceptance because there was a difference between direct and indirect reuse. She was also grateful for Director Figuers' description of the geology of the western region.
The motion passed by a roll call vote of 6-1 with Director Green opposing.
Item 14 -
Ms. Pryor presented the annual report on the Strategic Plan highlighting initiatives 2, 3, and 7. There were no comments from the Board or the public.
Item 15 -
Ms. Pryor presented the drought update report stating we are still in a drought emergency with this being the third dry year. She added that Zone 7 is drawing down storage accounts to meet water demands and the DWR asked staff to prepare for a 0% allocation for 2023. In June overall demands were 17% lower so customers are making good progress. Director Sanwong asked if there is a possibility of pumping the water up from Kern County. Ms. Pryor responded that it is not being explored at this time. Director Ramirez Holmes asked at what point the Board will be talking about the 0% allocation and Ms. Pryor replied that staff will have a more comprehensive updated drought report next month. She also stated that there is more information in the General Manager's Report later in the meeting, but staff is anticipating a new response limit from the Division of Drinking Water (DDW) to go into effect possibly by the end of August and that would significantly impact the ability to produce groundwater. Staff is analyzing what that means in terms of the amount of groundwater that can be pumped next year and how much water is left in the Kern County storage projects. Director Green asked what that limit was based on. Ms. Pryor responded that the State Board announced a proposed notification and response level for its perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), and they will have an informational hearing at their August 16th meeting. For Zone 7 that would mean that Stoneridge well would no longer be able to be run and the Agency would have to turn on the MGDP.
There was public comment from Kelly Abreu, a resident of Fremont.
Item 16 -
16. Committees - there were no comments from the Board.
Item 17 -
President Palmer asked the Directors to email Donna Fabian, Executive Assistant, with their Committee choices by Friday the 22nd. She also mentioned there were dates in her written report that were incorrect so she clarified them. President Palmer added that she has been designated as President of the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Joint Powers Authority.
Director Green mentioned that she attended the ACWA Washington D.C. Conference and will submit a detailed report at a later date.
Director Sanwong thanked Ms. Fabian and her team for putting together water conservation kits that she handed out at the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, as well as a Pleasanton Rotary Club meeting.
Director Ramirez Holmes stated that the Los Vaqueros JPA is currently going through a process to hire an Executive Director. She also attended two special meetings with the ACWA Legislative Committee.
Director Benson thanked the Board and staff who have brought her up to speed and provided invaluable information.
Item 18 -
Item 19 -
Ms. Pryor highlighted a few things from her General Manager's Report. One being that Zone 7 received an AA+ bond rating and also that Zone 7 is pumping records amounts of groundwater. Staff is also in full swing doing flood channel repairs.
Item 20 -
President Palmer adjourned the meeting at 8:48 p.m.