MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ALAMEDA COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
January 16, 2019
The following were present:
DIRECTORS: SANDS FIGUERS
ANGELA RAMIREZ HOLMES
ZONE 7 STAFF: VALERIE PRYOR, GENERAL MANAGER
OSBORN SOLITEI, TREASURER/ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER, FINANCE
JARNAIL CHAHAL, ENGINEERING MANAGER
CAROL MAHONEY, INTEGRATED WATER RESOURCES MANAGER
COLTER ANDERSEN, PRODUCTION MANAGER
MATT KATEN, PRINCIPAL GEOLOGIST, GROUNDWATER
SAL SEGURA, ASSOCIATE CIVIL ENGINEER, INTEGRATED PLANNING
WESLEY MERCADO, JUNIOR ENGINEER, INTEGRATED PLANNING
AMANDA ROGERS, ACTING EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
COUNSEL: MATTHEW WEBER, DOWNEY BRAND
Item 1 - Call Meeting to Order
President Ramirez Holmes called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m.
Item 2 - Closed Session
There was no Closed Session.
Item 3 -
OPEN SESSION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
President Ramirez Holmes led the Salute to the Flag.
Item 4 - Report Out of Closed Session
President Ramirez Holmes stated that there was nothing to report because there was no Closed Session.
Item 5 -
There were no public comments.
Item 6 -
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR BOARD MEETING OF DECEMBER 19, 2018
a. Regular Board Meeting of December 19, 2018
Director Quigley moved that the minutes of December 19, 2018, be accepted and approved, and Director Gambs seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by a voice vote of 7-0.
a. Participation in the Alameda County Operational Area Emergency Management Organization
b. First Amendment to the Memorandum of Agreement to Participate in the Bay Area Regional Reliability Plan
c. Regional Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper Training Program (BayQWEL)
d. Contract Proposal for Market Salary Survey and Human Resources Services
e. Renewal of Municipal Water Quality Investigations Program Agreements
f. Consider Amending Strategic Planning Priorities
Director Quigley asked to pull Item 7f for comments.
Director Palmer moved to approve Items 7a through 7e. Director Figuers seconded the motion. The items passed with a roll call vote of 7-0.
Resolution No. 19-01 Adoption of Agreement for Participation in Alameda County Operational Area Emergency Management Organization (Item 7a)
Resolution No. 19-02 First Amendment to the MOA to Participate in the Bay Area Regional Reliability Plan (Item 7b)
Resolution No. 19-03 Regional Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper Training Program (BayQWEL) (Item 7c)
Resolution No. 19-04 Authorization for Contract with Koff & Associates to Provide Market Salary Survey and Human Resources Services (Item 7d)
Resolution No. 19-05 Renewal of Municipal Water Quality Investigations Program Agreements (Item 7e)
Item 7f - Consider Amending Strategic Planning Priorities
Director Quigley stated that he wanted to see the changes made to the Strategic Planning Priorities, and he wanted the ability to make further changes to the document. Ms. Pryor indicated that it has been past practice to have a robust review of the Strategic Plan every August. Director Quigley agreed to continue the discussion in August but felt that the public would want to know now what changes were made in December. Director Sanwong suggested posting both versions of the document on the website so that the public can compare them.
Director Palmer suggested changing the wording of Priority 1.8, which reads "Participate in Delta discussions to protect the Agency's contractual water supply from the State Water Project," to "Participate in Delta discussions to protect the Agency's contractual water supply." Director Quigley agreed with the change.
Director Palmer moved to approve Item 7f with the above wording change to Priority 1.8. President Ramirez Holmes asked her to modify her motion to include posting both versions of the Strategic Planning Priorities on the website. Director Palmer amended her motion to include posting both the old and new versions of the Strategic Plan on the website. Director Stevens seconded the motion. The item passed with a voice vote of 7-0.
Resolution No. 19-06 Revising the Zone 7 Water Agency Strategic Planning Priorities (Item 7f)
Item 8a -
Employee of the Month
Ms. Pryor announced that Alfonso Yasonia has been selected as the Employee of the Month for November 2018. He is a Water Plant Operator III stationed at the Del Valle Water Treatment Plant. He joined Zone 7 in 2003 as a Water Plant Operator II and was subsequently promoted. He consistently devotes extra effort, maintains a positive attitude, and takes initiative to do more than is asked of him. He holds Grade 5 certifications in both water treatment and distribution, which is the highest level in the State. He also willingly shares his knowledge of the subject matter and exam process to help other operators pass their exams.
The Board congratulated and applauded Mr. Yasonia in absentia.
Item 8b - New Employee Introduction
Ms. Pryor introduced new employee, Alfonso Espinoza. Mr. Espinoza joined Zone 7 as a Water Plant Operator II on December 31, 2018. He comes from Diablo Water District in Oakley where he worked for almost five years at the District's blending facilities and well sites. He holds Grade 2 Treatment and Grade 3 Distribution Operator certifications as well as a Backflow Prevention certificate.
The Board welcomed and applauded Mr. Espinoza.
Item 9 -
2019 WATER SUPPLY EVALUATION UPDATE-DRAFT RECOMMENDATIONS
Ms. Pryor introduced this item stating that the Water Supply Evaluation was updated to help the Board make decisions on Sites Reservoir and the Los Vaqueros Reservoir expansion. A more robust update will be part of the 2020 Urban Water Management Plan.
Mr. Mercado gave a presentation, which began with the five key findings from the study, namely that:
. Steady annual transfers in the interim are needed.
. Multiple new water supply reliability projects will be needed.
. A diversified portfolio is best for reliability.
. West Yost's demand study shows potential for further demand reductions of additional 5,000 AFY on average at buildout.
. The risk model shows Los Vaqueros as emergency storage is of limited benefit; however, expected benefits from increased operational flexibility, particularly on a monthly time-scale, are not reflected in the model.
Draft recommendations included:
. Continue to support WaterFix.
. Continue to participate in Sites Reservoir for a net yield of up to 10,000 AFY.
. Continue to participate in Los Vaqueros expansion.
. Pursue short-term transfers of at least 5,000 AFY through 2030.
. Conduct technical studies to support selection of best potable reuse option.
. Continue to investigate brackish water desalination with other agencies.
. Continue to pursue other water supply opportunities especially at the Bay Area regional level.
. Complete a more comprehensive regional demand and water conservation program study over the next two years.
. Develop a regional plan for meeting the long-term conservation framework.
. Enhance public outreach programs to engage the public on water supply reliability issues.
Mr. Mercado finished up his presentation with a summary of potential Board actions.
President Ramirez Holmes clarified that this is not an action item, but a discussion item to provide direction to staff.
Director Stevens complimented Mr. Mercado on the presentation. He felt that revising Zone 7's Reliability Policy would require buy in from the retailers.
Director Gambs suggested including the list of recommendations in the agenda item. He stated that keeping all options on the table is a good strategy. He, also, wants to see the Chain of Lakes pipeline get the amount of attention that other projects are getting. He expressed concern about future water supply reductions that could occur if we reduce how much water we purchase. Finally, he felt that when comparing projects, the cost for reliability should be factored in.
Director Sanwong felt it would be helpful to know what the reliability policies are at other agencies. Ms. Pryor replied that a few other Bay Area agencies are looking at changing their reliability policies. Also, staff is surveying other agencies.
Director Sanwong expressed interest in a water conservation program study and enhancing public outreach. She felt this would be a great opportunity to work with the retailers. She also suggested making the public more aware that because of drought and natural disasters, reliability isn't always going to be guaranteed.
Director Quigley complimented Mr. Mercado on his report. He indicated that water rates may increase for water conservation by our new Governor's administration and it's something that we should monitor. He also felt that using our groundwater reservoir as a storage reservoir should be emphasized in our reliability goals for the future.
President Ramirez Holmes asked for clarification of what the interim period through to 2030 meant. Ms. Pryor replied that it is when one or more of the large infrastructure projects come online.
In response to President Ramirez Holmes questions about water transfers, Ms. Pryor stated that the Agency will be looking for closer to 5,000 acre-feet of water. She explained that River Gardens is a demonstration project for those additional transfers that will be needed during the interim and the most likely source of these transfers will be from other State Water Contractors.
President Ramirez Holmes asked about the retailers demands in the West Yost Demand Study. Ms. Pryor replied that because coming State legislation mandating reduced indoor and outdoor water use is not out yet, staff is doing the water supply evaluation study with incomplete information. Mr. Mercado stated that the update had an approximately 5,000 acre-foot per year decrease in demands compared to the last water supply evaluation because of long-term conservation. Furthermore, retailers have had a chance to comment on the study and some changes have been made because of retailer input. Ms. Pryor added that of primary concern is that the projections are too conservative and if reduced demands can be met as predicted, especially in light of unknown regulations.
President Ramirez Holmes asked about pursuing other water supply opportunities. Ms. Pryor replied that staff is looking at opportunities such as even more flexible market water transfers, desalination, and brackish desalination.
President Ramirez Holmes asked the reason for considering lowering the reliability policy. Ms. Pryor replied that because higher reliability results in the higher cost to the rate payers. She added that the analysis hasn't been done yet.
President Ramirez Holmes asked for public comment. There was none.
Director Palmer pointed out that Zone 7 has done several joint projects with other agencies and she applauds the idea because it has enabled the Agency to decrease costs in terms of chemicals, interties, etc.
Director Figuers expressed doubt about the benefits of public outreach stating that from past experience there have been no identifiable benefits. He added that for the past 30 years he has said that he would vote no for Los Vaqueros because of its high cost for low benefits, however, he said he is always willing to be open to changing conditions.
Director Quigley expressed support for having a diversified portfolio especially since the large infrastructure projects are so far into the future.
President Ramirez Holmes said that she liked the process of frequent updates that we've gone through with this project. Nothing is a surprise since the Board has seen it multiple times.
Director Gambs suggested doing an annual assessment of our water transfer needs to take advantage of wet years by buying more water and storing it.
Item 10 -
2019 SITES PROJECT AGREEMENT
Ms. Pryor gave a presentation that included a project overview; Phase 1 accomplishments; the 2019 Sites Reservoir Project Agreement, which is only for 2019 activities; and the Finance Plan - Phase 2. Staff findings and recommendation included:
. Sites Reservoir Project could significantly improve the reliability of Zone 7's water supply system by providing storage and new water supply.
. On December 21, 2018, the Water Resources Committee supported bringing the 2019 Sites Reservoir Project Agreement to the Board for consideration.
. Staff recommends continued participation in 2019 in Phase 2 of the project at 10,000 AFY for a total of $600,000. Funds are available in Fund 310.
. Continued participation will be re-evaluated at the end of 2019, when more information is available about project operations, yield, and costs.
Director Stevens expressed concern regarding getting the correct amount of water that we need. Ms. Pryor replied that the recommendation of 10,000 acre-feet is a financial decision because if we commit to more and the project didn't go through, we wouldn't get a refund. If the project goes through and we want to commit to more water, we will have to pay the back cost.
Director Sanwong asked what besides evaporation and leaks could cause the 20% transport costs as the water moves from the Delta to the South Bay Aqueduct. Ms. Pryor replied that it could be regulatory agencies, fish flows, salinity standards, etc. Director Sanwong wondered how we could best communicate that to the public in a summarized fashion.
Director Sanwong inquired if the water from Sites Reservoir would be available in a Delta outage. Ms. Pryor answered that any water taken and stored from Sites Reservoir would be available but transporting it through the Delta would not be an option.
Director Gambs suggested either having an agreement that allows us the flexibility to transfer water on an annual year-to-year basis, sell entitlements, or purchase from the State Water Project. This would prevent the asset from becoming a shackle. Director Quigley agreed with Director Gambs' idea. He also suggested getting the support of the retailers at the next Liaison meeting.
President Ramirez Holmes noted that two advantages for this project were that 1) it's a new supply and we don't have a lot of those on our list, and 2) it did not go through the State but is controlled by a JPA, which she felt is a much more appealing option.
Judy Zavadil, DSRSD's Engineering Services Manager, declared that DSRSD supports Zone 7's investment in water supply options, not only Los Vaqueros Expansion and Sites Reservoir but, also, all the others that, in particular, increase water supply diversity.
There were no other comments from the public.
Director Palmer moved to adopt Item 10. Director Quigley seconded the motion. The item passed by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Ordinance No. 19-07 2019 Sites Reservoir Project Agreement (Item 10)
Item 11 -
LOS VAUEROS RESERVOIR EXPANSION MULTI-PARTY AGREEMENT
Ms. Pryor gave a presentation that included a project overview, the accomplishments for 2016-2018, and outlined the multi-party agreement. Staff findings and recommendation include:
. Los Vaqueros Expansion is expected to improve the reliability of Zone 7's system through improved operational flexibility.
. On December 21, 2018, the Water Resources Committee supported bringing the Multi-Party Agreement to the Board for consideration.
. Staff recommends continued participation to continue to evaluate these benefits and compare them against other water storage and supply alternatives.
. The cash contribution for Zone 7 could range from about $200,000 to $335,000, assuming participation by fourteen to eight LAPs in the Multi-Party Agreement.
. Funds are available in Fund 310 ($3.7 million).
Director Palmer asked if staff had a firmer figure on the number of participants. Ms. Pryor replied that we don't at this time but it could be as few as eight or as many as 14.
Director Palmer inquired if there was the possibility of just buying into the Bethany pipeline. Ms. Pryor replied that a number of agencies are asking that question but it has not yet been resolved.
Director Stevens asked if Contra Costa Water would continue running Los Vaqueros. Ms. Pryor replied that the JPA would run the expansion even after construction and Contra Costa Water District would be the operator and have first rights.
Director Figuers clarified that this agenda item was about participation in a planning activity. It is not approval of the final project design. He asked why Kern County water would not be available during peak summer months. Ms. Pryor replied that it is because of lack of capacity in extraction wells and conveyance aqueducts.
Director Quigley expressed his support for the project and asked if our State water could go into the Los Vaqueros Reservoir. Ms. Pryor confirmed that it could.
Director Sanwong felt that the project could help manage risks from outages because it bypasses the Delta.
Director Gambs asked Director Palmer the reason she is interested in just acquiring the transfer pipeline rights. Director Palmer responded that because the storage component is so expensive, it makes sense financially to consider just the transfer capabilities. Director Stevens added that it's a regional goal to tie together all the water districts for emergency reasons.
Director Gambs suggested building flexibility into the agreement because when the Chain of Lakes becomes fully available, we may want to sell Los Vaqueros storage. President Ramirez Holmes asked for clarity regarding the timing of the projects. Mr. Mercado replied that there is a major timing difference between the two projects, with the Chain of Lakes not expected to be acquired until 2060. President Ramirez Holmes added that the Chain of Lakes is largely for flood control and groundwater recharge. Director Gambs added that Lakes H and I are available in the near term.
President Ramirez Holmes asked for public comment. There was none.
President Ramirez Holmes stated that we learned the importance of local storage during the drought because the Delta was not available to us to transport the water stored in Kern County. She felt that this project gives us the flexibility we need to be better prepared in the next drought.
Director Palmer moved to adopt Item 11. Director Figuers seconded the motion. The item passed by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Ordinance No. 19-08 Multi-Party Agreement for the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project (Item 11)
Item 12 -
PRELIMINARY WATER SUPPLY OPERATIONS PLAN FOR 2019
Ms. Pryor introduced Sal Segura, Associate Engineer, Integrated Planning, who gave a presentation about the General Water Supply and Use Plan table and the Estimated Supply Cost table.
Director Gambs complimented Mr. Segura on his presentation and asked when the next State update will take place. Mr. Segura replied that every four to six weeks the State gives an update.
Director Figuers inquired about Zone 7's share of the evaporation losses at Lake Del Valle. Mr. Segura replied that the evaporation losses figure comes from water that occurs naturally, not from water that is pumped in by DWR. Director Figuers asked if that could be noted on the table. Mr. Segura replied that another footnote will be added to the table.
President Ramirez Holmes asked for public comment. There was none.
Item 13 -
a. Water Resources Committee Meeting - December 21, 2018, 10:00 a.m. - notes
President Ramirez Holmes asked for comments from the Board. There were none.
Item 14 -
President Ramirez Holmes reminded everyone of upcoming meeting dates.
Director Palmer reported that there were two important decisions that were passed at the December 20 DCDCA meeting in Sacramento:
. The budget was revised for 2018-2019. Originally the budget called for $133.57 million and that was reduced to $61.88 million mainly due to the consistency certificate that the Delta Stewardship Council said was premature.
. A small and disabled business enterprise policy was adopted in order to increase business opportunities for small businesses and disabled people.
Director Palmer added that the next DCDCA meeting will be held tomorrow, January 17, and the minutes are available on DCDCA.org.
Director Quigley announced that he attended a California Special District Association Meeting last Wednesday. He said that Paul Sethy and John Weed gave a brief update on a new committee that sounded interesting. He also reminded the Board that March 28 is the annual dinner meeting at Meadows Restaurant.
President Ramirez Holmes reported that she attended a LAFCO meeting and that the water and wastewater study is on the calendar for 2019. Currently they are in the data collection phase.
Item 15 -
ITEMS FOR FUTURE AGENDA
President Ramirez Holmes asked for items for future agendas.
Director Palmer suggested monitoring the issue regarding Governor Newsome's State tax on water. Ms. Pryor responded that the Gualco Group would be interested in making a presentation to the Board regarding the Governor's budget, the water tax, and any other legislation that would be of interest to us.
Item 16 -
Ms. Pryor highlighted several items from the staff reports:
. Zone 7 won the budget award for the fourth consecutive year from the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers.
. We have provided meeting space to DSRSD at our Parkside office. They are booked through May.
. In preparation for this big storm, staff inspected all our facilities. Cal OES activated its Emergency Operation Center and staff is in contact with them. The website was updated with information about wet and windy weather and the cities were asked to repost the information on their websites.
President Ramirez Holmes asked if the Girl Scouts could attend a Board meeting so that they can be thanked for their work in constructing owl nesting boxes.
President Ramirez Holmes drew attention to Item 16b, stating that cannabis was something that members of the public had asked us to keep an eye on with regards to water impacts from it.
Director Palmer announced that as of yesterday the State is at 85% of normal snow pack.
Item 17 -
President Ramirez Holmes adjourned the meeting at 9:05 p.m.