Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ventura OK's development plan

Despite the many red flags, Ventura City Council unanimously voted on Monday night to approve the Saticoy-Wells Community Plan EIR. This issue was delayed when water managers objected: city-plans-threaten-aquifers

1: Concerns with water supply were justified by a 'tolling agreement' between the City and Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency and United Water Conservation District. The tolling agreement would postone any legal action against the city until July 1, 2010, giving time to test the well in question to determine if it would in fact affect groundwater supplies as the water agencies suggest.

2: Flooding concerns were answered in a last-minute e-mail from Ventura County Watershed Protection District.

3. As highlighted by Councilmember Morehouse, this plan was completed after 3 major developments in the planning area have already been approved.

The figures shown here were submitted as comments on the EIR from the East Ventura Community Council. They illustrate the variability in the City's water supply, and vulnerability to drought. Note that the Ventura River/Casitas supply makes up a significant portion.

The City's water supply as outlined in the General Plan and used in this EIR is based upon wet years. A drought as short as 3 years may limit supply to as little as 60% of normal. This is what adjacent water managers mean when they write that, "We believe as described above the City's assumptions and estimates for future water supplies may be over estimated."

And as predictably as the City outgrows its water supply, our rivers will surely get drier.

City Council meeting agenda, minutes, and video for Nov 16, 2009 are online here.