AGWA hosts first public meeting

On Jan. 24, Anza Ground Water Association or AGWA held their first public meeting since their formation last March of 2012. Chair Elena Mafla gave a power point presentation of the overall goals of AGWA and the aspect of the way ground water is formed in the Anza Valley and its territories. This PowerPoint can be seen on AGWA’s website on the home page as well as other helpful information.

The following are the 13 members that make up AGWA’s Boards and each represents a different part of the community. Reginald Agunwah-Ramona Band of Cahuilla, Brian Baharie-Resident-Vice Chair, Joanna Crombie-Resident/Ag, Eric Haley-Heritage Well Service, Merl Johnson-Ramona Water Company Annika Knopple- High County Garden Club, Mike Machado-Anza Electric Co-op, Elena Mafla-Boojum Institute-Chair, Dan Marlin-AVMAC-Correspondent, Jackie Spanley-Rural Communities United, Anza Branch, Marea Stinette Levine-High Country Conservancy-Sectretary-Ed Wall- Resident and Corey Wallace-Rancho Water District.

AGWA’s mission: “The Anza Ground Water Association will pursue opportunities that expand and share knowledge relating to the quality and quantity of our area groundwater on behalf of our community.”

Last year the community was granted a Local Groundwater Assistance (LGA) Grant of $50,000 which lead to AGWA’s formation. This committee formation was to be a steering committee comprised of different community interests, to formulate a groundwater management plan and to apply, find and set up the necessary agencies to accept these grants within the community in the future. They are not involved with water right issues.

According to the LGA grants site –“LGA Grants are to provide local public agencies with up to $250,000 to conduct groundwater studies or carry out groundwater monitoring and management activities. Approximately $4.7 million in funding from Proposition 84 is anticipated for the fiscal year 2011-2012 LGA Grant Program-alone.” View at

These are state funds already set aside form the selling of bonds due to Prop 84. Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM)

What is IRWM? According to the Department of Water Resources website Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) is a collaborative effort to manage all aspects of water resources in a region. IRWM crosses jurisdictional, watershed, and political boundaries; involves multiple agencies, stakeholders, individuals, and groups; and attempts to address the issues and differing perspectives of all the entities involved through mutually beneficial solutions.

DWR’s IRWM Grant Program

DWR has a number of IRWM grant program funding opportunities. Current IRWM grant programs include: planning, implementation, and stormwater flood management.

IRWM Grant Program History

2002 – Senate Bill 1672 creates the Integrated Regional Water Management Act to encourage local agencies to work cooperatively to manage local and imported water supplies to improve the quality, quantity, and reliability.

November 2002 – California voters pass Proposition 50, the Water Security, Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Act of 2002, which provides $500,000,000 (CWC §79560-79565) to fund competitive grants for projects consistent with an adopted IRWM plan.

November 2006 – California voters pass Proposition 84, the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act, which provides $1,000,000,000 (PRC §75001-75130) for IRWM Planning and Implementation.

November 2006 – California voters passed Proposition 1E, the Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention Bond Act, which provides $300,000,000 (PRC §5096.800-5096.967) for IRWM Stormwater Flood Management.

Information was found at

Part of these grants must go to Disadvantage Communities (DAC)- Anza Qualifies for DAC grants.

Anza’s Recent Grant Proposal history according to AGWA’s Website-


January 2013

The State of California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has a Local Groundwater Assistance (LGA) grant program that provides local public agencies with up to $250,000 to conduct groundwater studies or carry out groundwater monitoring and management activities. In July 2012, AGWA, with support from the Elsinore Murrieta Anza Resource Conservation District (EMARCD) as the qualifying public agency, submitted a proposal requesting funds from the DWR under the LGA grant program.

The proposed project would develop a Groundwater Monitoring Program (GMP) and a Groundwater Recharge Map for the Anza-Terwilliger Valley and includes both the Cahuilla Valley Groundwater Basin and the Terwilliger Valley Groundwater Basin. A minimum of six public meetings/workshops would be held during the course of project implementation to receive input from the community and to provide updates on the status of the project. The proposed project would also implement the first year of the GMP for groundwater levels and quality. The Groundwater Recharge Map developed under the proposal would help determine suitable water replenishment sites within the valley.

The proposed project would be completed over the course of approximately 18 months and would have a total (not-to-exceed) budget of $136,500. AGWA would provide in-kind services totaling $19,000. The grant requested from the DWR is $117,500.

Review and preliminary rankings of proposals by the DWR staff is scheduled for completion in January 2013.

Disadvantage Communities or DAC Groundwater Study in the Anza Area Phase I

Project at a Glance: The purpose of the groundwater Management Report completed in November of 2011 was to begin a community based program that would assist in developing a Groundwater Management Plan. Due to the complexity of groundwater issues within the Anza Area

Phase I is designed to carry out various conclusions and recommendations from the

Report and address the forth conclusion that “further coordinated planning and data collection should be a priority to assess current trends in water levels and quality.”

Due to the high-level of community support in the fall of 2011 there has already been an indication of support for future phases of study. The USGS has indicated their willingness to serve as a project partner in the Anza Area, and could potentially provide matching funds up to 30% of the costs for Phase II.

Phase I will include data gathering and analyses necessary to improve understanding of the hydrology and groundwater quality within the Anza study area, building upon existing data. As the first phase of a larger multi-phased study it will also provide accurate and current information that will be used to protect communities that rely on the Cahuilla Valley Groundwater Basin from drought.

Project objectives include:

• Define the geohydrologic framework of the Anza Area.

• Quantify the hydrologic budget.

• Determine the character, source(s) and the age(s) of groundwater in the area.

• Develop tools to help evaluate and manage the water resources of the area.

• Hold workshops within the Anza area to maintain community involvement and transparency regarding groundwater management.

• Develop texture model to help characterize the aquifer system of the Anza area from a groundwater supply perspective.

• Compile data to better characterize groundwater quality within the Anza Area

• Develop a preliminary water budget for the Anza Area.

Project update: The contract for Administration of this Phase I project was awarded December 5, 2012 to the High Country Conservancy. Estimated starting date January 2013 and completion January 2014.

(This summary was extracted from the published final draft of Proposition 84

Integrated Regional Water Management Or Irwm Plan For The Upper

Santa Margarita Watershed Planning Region)

At the January meeting AGWA was proud to announce the award of the next phase of grants. Rancho California Water District is accepting these grants for the Upper Santa Margarita Watershed area which encompasses the Anza Valley and its territories, and then the High Country Conservancy will distribute them.

According to the State site planning Grant Round 2 Final Awards were granted on November 29, 2012.

It shows that Rancho California Water District was awarded total $777,050 for the Upper Santa Margarita Watershed IRWM Planning Grant Proposal (see line 37 of the Report) $174,880 was to go to DAC areas. For full report go to:

According to the AGWA’s calendar on there website there will be a Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting Wed. February 13, 1 to 4 p.m. at Rancho California Water Districts.

There is an online questionnaire that AGWA would like citizens to fill out; they want to know what you think.

To direct questions to AWGA or to contact them go to AGWA: PO Box 391686 Anza, CA 92539, Ph: 951 389 0211 Email: and Webpage: go to the home page for great information on well and septic care and more.

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