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Deputy City Manager Shiri Klima. (File photo)
Thursday, August 8, 2019

By Chris Frost


Oxnard— The Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency will hold a workshop on how to make groundwater pumping more efficient Aug. 21, at 6 p.m. at the Ventura County Administration Building in the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room.


The building is at 800 S. Victoria Avenue in Ventura.  


According to state law, the Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency (GMA) needs to adopt a groundwater sustainability plan by the end of the calendar year.


The Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency began in 1982 and preserves and manages groundwater resources.


Deputy City Manager Shiri Klima presented the item to the council and said everyone in the county is over-pumping their groundwater basin, which is the Oxnard Basin.


“By the year 2040, we all must ramp down our pumping significantly,” she said. “This plan is for how to ramp down all the pumpers’ groundwater usage.” 


She reminded the crowd that the City of Oxnard is the largest pumper in the basin and is also the largest city in the basin.


“This plan is important to our future and our water use for the next 20 years,” she said. “It’s important for our development, and it’s also important for our current use and our kids’ future use. We encourage you to attend the public meeting.”


She reported about the groundwater management plan in Jan. and told everyone that by 2040, all the groundwater pumped would need to be decreased by almost half.


“In the year 2020, whatever we start at is 100 percent, and we are going to have to decrease it by 2040 to 60 percent,” Klima said. “The latest plan reduces that amount further, up to an additional 20 percent. We’re talking about an additional 20 percent reduction in the amount of total water that is going to allowed to be pumped. That is a huge decrease in how much water we will be allowed to pump. The less groundwater the city can pump, the more water the city must buy, which is expensive.”


The plan affects the city’s fees it pays into the Fox Canyon GMA, she said, which impacts agricultural jobs and water rates for city residents.


Councilman Bert Perello pulled out three bottles full of water and demonstrated how much less water the city will have.


“How much is the City of Oxnard willing to pay for that bottle of water,” he asked. “We all need to decide that. If residents from the City of Oxnard pay no attention, then somebody else will decide for you. If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” 

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