On July 30, 2019, Chief Engineer David Barfield provided a formal response to GMD No. 5’s Local Enhanced Management Area (LEMA) plan aimed to resolve the Quivira impairment, stating he was unable to move forward with their request to initiate proceedings to consider the plan as it failed to include measures sufficient to meet its stated goal and other statutory requirements. After nearly two years of work on the LEMA concept, KDA and GMD5 have been unable to agree on a LEMA plan that resolves the impairment. The Chief Engineer’s letter can be found here.
In his letter, Chief Engineer Barfield also announced his intention to develop administrative orders by approx. September 1, 2019, to be effective January 1, 2020, to implement water use reductions in the basin to begin addressing the Quivira impairment, and in particular, the ongoing declines in streamflows (see below) into the Refuge with its reductions in water quantity and water quality. These orders are the first of a three-pronged solution to the impairment, providing initial action to remedy the impairment, while providing time for the Basin to develop the other two components:
- A proposed augmentation project.
- The retirement of 4400 acre-feet of use in the high-impact area (Zone D).
To maximize flexibility in use, DWR will work with local water users to develop a Water Conservation Area (WCA) to create multi-year allocations and allow movement of allocations between water rights.
While required water use reductions will vary among water users based on the seniority of their water rights (with older rights getting larger allocations) and their historic use, the reductions will average under 15% from long-term use.
A public meeting is anticipated during mid-September.
A map of the affected area is shown below.
More information related to this matter can be found on the following websites: