GBU Mountain News XLIII Jan 20, 2014 (PDF)

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GBU Mountain News

GBU Mountain News

January 20, 2014 XLIII

independent - unbiased – professional
January 20, 2014 XLIII

California's Coming Mega-Drought?

Governor Brown declares Drought Emergency
Almost 99% of California is abnormally dry or worse
Southern Sierra snowpack is at only 22% of normal
Water conservation is a must
Assemblymember Rudy Salas, and Kern County Supervisor
David Couch comment on the Drought Declaration

According to the most recent report from the U.S.
Drought Monitor most of California and northern Nevada
is extremely dry. Almost 99% of California is currently
considered abnormally dry or worse; almost two-thirds of
the state is in extreme drought.

2013 became the driest year on record in California; San
Francisco had the least rain since record keeping began
there in 1850. According to the California Department of
Water Resources the northern Sierra has currently a
snowpack of only 8% of what would be normal for this
time, the central Sierra is at 16% of normal, and the
southern Sierra at 22%.
This snowpack plays a critical part in California’s most
sophisticated and complex water delivery system which
supplies water to more than 25 million people and the

$44.7 billion agricultural industry. The snow that piles up
on the Sierra Nevada’s 400-mile range during the winter
acts as a reserve and starts to melt in the spring. The
melting snow drains into rivers that feed numerous
reservoirs below, providing water to large cities hundreds
of miles away. Last year at this time, the snowpack was
normal or exceeded it.
Across the state, agriculture is responsible for more than
three-quarters of California's water use. Most of the
farms, including those located in the San Joaquin Valley
and throughout Kern County rely on irrigation to grow
huge amounts and large varieties of vegetables and fruits
to be shipped across the USA. Some growers have had to
leave fields fallow as their water allocations have run
dry, affecting crops and jobs.

Tom Nassif, Western Growers president and chief
executive, stated "drought conditions are wreaking havoc
on farmers in California, especially in the San Joaquin
Valley from south of Sacramento to Bakersfield. The
situation is dire and requires the full attention of state and
federal leaders, which is why the declaration is so
On Friday (Jan 17) Governor Brown proclaimed State of
Emergency. That act directs state agencies to assist
farmers and communities that are economically impacted
by dry conditions and to ensure the state can respond if


GBU Mountain News
January 20, 2014 XLIII

Californians face drinking water shortages. The
declaration qualifies agriculture interests for federal
programs meant to help with unemployment and
financial losses. The Governor also directs all state
agencies to use less water, to allow water managers to
move water more quickly to rights-holders, and to hire
more firefighters. The executive order initiated at the
same time a greatly expanded water conservation public
awareness campaign.
Previously, in May 2013, Governor Brown had issued
another Executive Order which directed state water
officials to expedite the review and processing of
voluntary transfers of water and water rights. In
December of 2013, a Drought Task Force was formed to
o expected water allocations,
o California’s preparedness for water scarcity, and
o whether conditions merit a drought declaration.
The Department of Food and Agriculture, the
Department of Water Resources, the State Water
Resources Control Board, and the State's Office of
Emergency Services were ordered to immediately
convene an interagency Drought Task Force supposed to
meet weekly and to coordinate with federal and local
A few days ago, Governor Brown had toured the Central
Valley and spoke with growers and others impacted by
California’s record dry conditions.
There is, however, some hope. The rainy season in
California extends through March and most of the water
in the reservoirs comes from just a handful of big storms
each winter. Historic records show instances in
which early droughts like the existing one ended quickly
with a few strong rainstorms. Journalist Bettina
Boxall stated in her LA Times article on January 15,
2014 "In early 2009, the state echoed with ominous
drought warnings. Then a series of February storms
fattened the snowpack and filled rain gauges. A so called
Miracle March in 1991 brought triple the month’s normal
The challenges of limited or dwindling water supplies in
the Mountain Communities became more than obvious in
2013. The hamlet of Lake of the Woods, served by the
Lake of the Woods Mutual Water Company, literally run
out of water. The 300-gallons-per-minute well near
Cuddy Hall had sunk to a 10-gallons-per-minute
production in early 2013. Extreme conservation
measures, including a ban on all outdoor watering, had to
be implemented for the about 400 households.

The water level for some wells in Frazier Park dropped in
September 2013 by more than 60 feet. Even the little
pond in the Frazier Mountain Community Park, usually
fed by a underground spring, started losing water.
Fortunately this drop in Frazier Park was only

Water Conservation
Water conservation programs are typically initiated at the
local level, by either municipal water utilities or regional
governments. Common strategies include public outreach
campaigns, tiered water rates (charging progressively
higher prices as water use increases), or restrictions on
outdoor water use such as lawn watering and car
washing. Cities in dry climates often require or
encourage the installation of natural landscaping in new
homes to reduce outdoor water usage. One fundamental
conservation goal is water metering. The prevalence of
residential water metering varies significantly not only
worldwide, but also locally in the Mountain


GBU Mountain News
January 20, 2014 XLIII

Communities. Six or more public (i.e., Frazier Park
Public Utility District, Lebec County Water), private
(i.e., Mil Potrero Mutual Water Company), and
residential (i.e., Lake of the Woods Mutual Water
Company) water companies/districts do not only work
independent of each other, they also have a variety of
different policies, rates, and capabilities that may or may
not effectively encourage water conservation. The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency estimates that
metering alone can reduce consumption by 20 to 40
Water conservation efforts must also be directed at
agricultural businesses and farmers since crop irrigation
accounts for 70% of the world's fresh water use.
Water-saving technologies for homes, offices, and public
and commercial buildings includes:
o Low-flow shower heads
o Low-flush toilets
o Dual flush toilets that include two buttons or handles
to flush different levels of water. Dual flush toilets
use up to 67% less water than conventional toilets.
o Faucet aerators, which break water flow into fine
droplets to maintain "wetting effectiveness" while
using less water and reduce splashing while washing
hands and dishes.
o Reuse of graywater for flushing toilets or watering
o Recycling of wastewater through purification at a
water treatment plant
o Rainwater harvesting
o High-efficiency clothes washers
o Weather-based irrigation controllers
o Garden hose nozzles that shut off water when it is
not being used, instead of letting a hose run
o Swimming pool covers that reduce evaporation and
can warm pool water to reduce water, energy and
chemical costs.
o Automatic faucet that allow for the use of faucets
without the use of hands (installed in many
commercial and public buildings)
o Waterless urinals & car washes
Worldwide, freshwater withdrawals have tripled over the
last 50 years and demand is increasing by 64 billion
cubic meters a year (1 cubic meter = 1,000 liters)
The world’s population is growing by roughly 80 million
people each year. Changes in lifestyles and eating habits

in recent years are requiring more water consumption per
capita. For example, the production of biofuels has
increased sharply in recent years, with significant impact
on water demand. Between 1,000 and 4,000 liters of
water are needed to produce a single liter of biofuel.
Energy demand is also accelerating, with corresponding
implications for water demand.
WHEREAS the State of California is experiencing
record dry conditions, with 2014 projected to become
the driest year on record; and
WHEREAS the state’s water supplies have dipped to
alarming levels, indicated by: snowpack in California’s
mountains is approximately 20 percent of the normal
average for this date; California’s largest water
reservoirs have very low water levels for this time of
year; California’s major river systems, including the
Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, have significantly
reduced surface water flows; and groundwater levels
throughout the state have dropped significantly; and
WHEREAS dry conditions and lack of precipitation
present urgent problems: drinking water supplies are at
risk in many California communities; fewer crops can
be cultivated and farmers’ long-term investments are
put at risk; low-income communities heavily dependent
on agricultural employment will suffer heightened
unemployment and economic hardship; animals and
plants that rely on California’s rivers, including many
species in danger of extinction, will be threatened; and
the risk of wildfires across the state is greatly increased;
WHEREAS extremely dry conditions have persisted
since 2012 and may continue beyond this year and
more regularly into the future, based on scientific
projections regarding the impact of climate change on
California’s snowpack; and
WHEREAS the magnitude of the severe drought
conditions presents threats beyond the control of the
services, personnel, equipment and facilities of any
single local government and require the combined
forces of a mutual aid region or regions to combat; and
WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8558(b) of
the California Government Code, I find that conditions
of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property
exist in California due to water shortage and drought
conditions with which local authority is unable to cope.
Governor of the State of California, in accordance with


GBU Mountain News
January 20, 2014 XLIII

the authority vested in me by the state Constitution and
statutes, including the California Emergency Services
Act, and in particular, section 8625 of the California
OF EMERGENCY to exist in the State of California
due to current drought conditions.
1.State agencies, led by the Department of Water
Resources, will execute a statewide water conservation
campaign to make all Californians aware of the
drought and encourage personal actions to reduce
water usage. This campaign will be built on the existing
Save Our Water campaign ( and
will coordinate with local water agencies. This
campaign will call on Californians to reduce their water
usage by 20 percent.
2.Local urban water suppliers and municipalities are
called upon to implement their local water shortage
contingency plans immediately in order to avoid or
forestall outright restrictions that could become
necessary later in the drought season. Local water
agencies should also update their legally required
urban and agricultural water management plans, which
help plan for extended drought conditions. The
Department of Water Resources will make the status of
these updates publicly available.
3.State agencies, led by the Department of General
Services, will immediately implement water use
reduction plans for all state facilities. These plans will
include immediate water conservation actions, and a
moratorium will be placed on new, non-essential
landscaping projects at state facilities and on state
highways and roads.
4.The Department of Water Resources and the State
Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) will
expedite the processing of water transfers, as called for
in Executive Order B-21-13. Voluntary water transfers
from one water right holder to another enables water to
flow where it is needed most.
5.The Water Board will immediately consider petitions
requesting consolidation of the places of use of the
State Water Project and Federal Central Valley Project,
which would streamline water transfers and exchanges
between water users within the areas of these two major
water projects.
6.The Department of Water Resources and the Water
Board will accelerate funding for water supply
enhancement projects that can break ground this year
and will explore if any existing unspent funds can be

repurposed to enable near-term water conservation
7.The Water Board will put water right holders
throughout the state on notice that they may be directed
to cease or reduce water diversions based on water
8.The Water Board will consider modifying
requirements for reservoir releases or diversion
limitations, where existing requirements were
established to implement a water quality control plan.
These changes would enable water to be conserved
upstream later in the year to protect cold water pools for
salmon and steelhead, maintain water supply, and
improve water quality.
9.The Department of Water Resources and the Water
Board will take actions necessary to make water
immediately available, and, for purposes of carrying out
directives 5 and 8, Water Code section 13247 and
Division 13 (commencing with section 21000) of the
Public Resources Code and regulations adopted
pursuant to that Division are suspended on the basis
that strict compliance with them will prevent, hinder, or
delay the mitigation of the effects of the emergency.
Department of Water Resources and the Water Board
shall maintain on their websites a list of the activities or
approvals for which these provisions are suspended.
10. The state’s Drinking Water Program will work with
local agencies to identify communities that may run out
of drinking water, and will provide technical and
financial assistance to help these communities address
drinking water shortages. It will also identify
emergency interconnections that exist among the state’s
public water systems that can help these threatened
11.The Department of Water Resources will evaluate
changing groundwater levels, land subsidence, and
agricultural land fallowing as the drought persists and
will provide a public update by April 30 that identifies
groundwater basins with water shortages and details
gaps in groundwater monitoring.
12.The Department of Water Resources will work with
counties to help ensure that well drillers submit
required groundwater well logs for newly constructed
and deepened wells in a timely manner and the Office
of Emergency Services will work with local authorities
to enable early notice of areas experiencing problems
with residential groundwater sources.
13.The California Department of Food and Agriculture
( that provides timely updates


GBU Mountain News
January 20, 2014 XLIII

on the drought and connects farmers to state and
federal programs that they can access during the
14.The Department of Fish and Wildlife will evaluate
and manage the changing impacts of drought on
threatened and endangered species and species of
special concern, and develop contingency plans for
state Wildlife Areas and Ecological Reserves to manage
reduced water resources in the public interest.
15. The Department of Fish and Wildlife will work with
the Fish and Game Commission, using the best
available science, to determine whether restricting
fishing in certain areas will become necessary and
prudent as drought conditions persist.
16.The Department of Water Resources will take
necessary actions to protect water quality and water
supply in the Delta, including installation of temporary
barriers or temporary water supply connections as
needed, and will coordinate with the Department of
Fish and Wildlife to minimize impacts to affected
aquatic species.
17.The Department of Water Resources will refine its
seasonal climate forecasting and drought prediction by
advancing new methodologies piloted in 2013.
18.The California Department of Forestry and Fire
Protection will hire additional seasonal firefighters to
suppress wildfires and take other needed actions to protect
public safety during this time of elevated fire risk.
19.The state’s Drought Task Force will immediately develop
a plan that can be executed as needed to provide emergency
food supplies, financial assistance, and unemployment
services in communities that suffer high levels of
unemployment from the drought.
20.The Drought Task Force will monitor drought impacts on
a daily basis and will advise me of subsequent actions that
should be taken if drought conditions worsen.
I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this
Proclamation be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State
and that widespread publicity and notice be given of this
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and
caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed
this 17th day of January, 2014.

Governor of California

U.S. Congressman Kevin McCarthy
Statement on Drought Declaration
by Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s Office
Congressman Kevin McCarthy issued on January 17,
2014 this statement on Governor Brown’s drought
“Today’s drought declaration by Governor Brown
reaffirms what Californians throughout our state and
especially in our local communities know firsthand. As
we approach another drought year, I continue to call on
federal and state officials to take immediate action to
provide water supplies to our local families, farmers, and
small businesses and develop an operational plan that
maximizes water supplies to communities in the San
Joaquin Valley and Southern California. Restrictive
environmental regulations reduce our supplies when
water is available in wet years, but exacerbates the
negative impacts during years of drought. At a time
when we are in dire need of water, we must provide
flexibility and allow water to flow around the state.”
On November 20, 2013, Congressman McCarthy
authored a letter to the Secretary of Interior and the
Secretary of Commerce to: (1) take immediate action
within their agencies’ power to increase water supplies,
(2) develop a 2014 operational plan for the CVP and
SWP that maximizes water supplies to the San Joaquin
Valley and Southern California; and (3) asks for the
Administration’s plan to ensure an affordable and
reliable water supply over the next decade while longterm solutions to California’s man-made water crises
continues. This letter was signed by 7 other Congressmen
including Reps. Valadao, Nunes, Rohrabacher, Royce,
Campbell, Calvert, and Gary Miller.
On December 9, 2013, Congressman McCarthy joined
Rep. David Valadao and California Senator Jean Fuller
in sending a letter to President Barack Obama and
Governor Jerry Brown asking them to take immediate
action to address the catastrophic effects of what is
shaping up to be another dry water-year for California.
This letter was signed by all the Members of the House
Republican Conference’s California Delegation and 34
Members of the California State Senate and Assembly in
urging President Obama and Governor Brown utilize
their executive authority to alleviate the effects of


GBU Mountain News
January 20, 2014 XLIII


GBU Mountain News
January 20, 2014 XLIII

California Assemblymember Rudy Salas


by Assemblymember Rudy Salas’ Office


BAKERSFIELD – Assemblymember Rudy Salas (DBakersfield) released on January 14, 2014 the following
statement today after Governor Brown declared a
drought emergency for the state of California:
“I want to thank the Governor and everyone who rallied
for water yesterday - our voices were heard. Now that the
Governor has declared a drought emergency, this will
accelerate relief efforts and help get water to where it is
needed now. I will continue to fight for better water
infrastructure and look forward to hosting a water
hearing later this month in my district.”
Assemblymember Salas represents part of the City of
Bakersfield, the cities of Arvin, Avenal, Corcoran,
Delano, Hanford, Lemoore, McFarland, Shafter, Wasco,
and the communities of Armona, Buttonwillow, Home
Garden, Kettleman City, Lamont, Lost Hills, Stratford
and Weedpatch.





Kern County 4 District Supervisor David
Couch comments on the Drought
by Supervisor David Couch’ Office
"Drought conditions pose an immediate threat to Kern
County's agricultural industry and have the potential to
harm our urban water supplies. Ongoing and persistent
water conservancy efforts from industry and individuals
are needed.
It is my hope that this emergency declaration will prompt
federal and state regulators to expedite water transfers,
provide financial assistance, and suspend state and
federal regulations for water conveyance. Otherwise
they're just empty words."




California’s Coming Mega-Drought
Governor Edmund Brown’s Proclamation of a State
U.S. Congressman Kevin McCarthy Statement on
Drought Declaration
California Assemblymember Rudy Salas Responds to
Governor’s Drought Declaration


Kern County 4th District Supervisor David Couch on
the Drought
News from the El Tejon Unified School District
o 16th Annual Science Fair
Frazier Mountain High School
o Sports
El Tejon School
Frazier Park School
o Frazier Park’s Finest for Jan 16, 2014 by
Michelle Penner
o Kindergarten Giving Project by Michelle Penner
Gorman School
All Things Local
o Bakersfield Vet Center brings services to Frazier
Park by Family Resource Center
o Fire Restrictions Take Effect in Los Padres
National Forest by Andrew Madsen
o Homeless Census Count & Breakfast by Family
Resource Center
o Assemblymember Rudy Salas Hosts Townhall to
Address Sludge Concerns
o People
o An unexpected Thank You
Law Enforcement Corner
o Kern County Sheriff’s Office
o Incidents Jan 6 - 13
o Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department
o California Highway Patrol
o New Laws Affecting Motorists by John
Price, CHP
Animals Matter
Our Library
o Calendar
o American Sign Language Class by Shanene
Incidents & Accidents in our Region
Arts – Music – Theatre
Frazier Park Weather Forecast
Business Affairs
o Ralphs Store in Castaic will close in March
o Changes to California Law will affect Employers
and Employees in 2014
o Free Games at Computers & Games
o The Consequences of Open WiFi by Eric Rand
Kern County
o Board of Supervisors Meetings
Upcoming Events
Safety & Disaster Preparedness


GBU Mountain News
January 20, 2014 XLIII



Kern County Flu Updates by Kim Rodriguez,
Kern County Public Health
o Earthquake Preparedness
o Why Drop, Cover, and Hold On?
Where to Go – What to Do
Legislative Affairs
Where to Go – What to Do
o Follow-Up: a visit to the Nethercutt Museum
Business Directory

16th Annual Science Fair
Info provided by Lee Bizzini
at the El Tejon Middle School
on Thursday, January 23, 2014 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm


GBU Mountain News is now on
“Like” it and
see what’s happening
in the Mountain Communities

School (FMHS)


El Tejon Middle School

News from our El
Tejon Unified School
The August 22, 2013 School Board meeting can be viewed at
The September 12, 2013 School Board meeting can be viewed at
The September 26, 2013 School Board meeting can be viewed at
The October 9, 2013 School Board meeting can be viewed at
The October 23, 2013 School Board meeting can be viewed at
The December 12, 2013 School Board meeting can be viewed at
The January 9, 2014 School Board meeting can be viewed at

Recently seen in the administrative offices of the
El Tejon Middle School

Photos from thev 2013 FMHS Homecoming can be seen on Facebook at



GBU Mountain News
January 20, 2014 XLIII

Frazier Park School
Frazier Park’s Finest for Jan 16, 2013

Many thanks to Jennifer Underwood who helped
spearhead this wonderful project! Thank you to the many
families whose donations made it possible and to those
parents who were able to come in and help. It was a
fulfilling experience for all involved, and a wonderful
way to begin the holiday season.

Info & photo provided by Michelle Penner

Back Row L to R: Will Edwards, Amy Gilmore,
Jason Barenchi
Front Row L to R: Shannon White, Gavin Blackwell,
Jordynn Ekkelkamp

Kindergarten Giving Project
Info & photo provided by Michelle Penner
In the true spirit of the holiday season, kindergartners at
Frazier Park School participated in a giving project for
children at the Jamison Center in Bakersfield.
The Jamison Children's Center is a 24-hour emergency
shelter and protective custody facility, operated by the
Human Services Department of Kern County. As the
only emergency shelter in Kern County for abused,
neglected and exploited children, Jamison Children's
Center temporarily houses children who are taken into
protective custody by law enforcement agencies or social
workers. Children come to Jamison Children's Center
from all backgrounds and walks of life.
Kindergarten families donated anywhere from $2-$5 to
purchase material needed to make blankets. Jennifer
Underwood and her daughter, Ariel, bought the material
and prepared it for our little elves to do the work. On the
Friday before vacation, kindergarten students from both
classes gathered in one classroom. They worked together
tying knots around all four edges of the material, making
approximately 35 soft, warm, and cuddly blankets for
children at the Jamison Children's Center.


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