Starlite Community Services District - 6-012.01 OWENS VALLEY

Starlite Community Services District - 6-012.01 OWENS VALLEY

A. Applicant Information

Requesting Agency Information
Agency Name: Starlite Community Services District
Address: P.O. Box 1434
City: Bishop Zip: 93515
Work Phone: (760) 873-3630 Cell Phone:
Email: Fax:
Revision Request Manager Information
Person Name: Daniel Cutshall
Address: P.O. Box 1434
City: Bishop Zip: 93515
Work Phone: (760) 873-3630 Cell Phone:
Email: Fax:

B. Description of Proposed Boundary Modification

  1. This boundary modification is intended to exclude the horseshoe shaped pocket formed by the approx. 1/2 sq. mile area of McGee Meadow, and specifically the 160 acres of Starlite Estates, from the Owens Valley Groundwater Basin (6-012.01).
    • Scientific External
  2. Starlite Estates and McGee Meadow are located in the heart of the Tungsten Hills quartz monzonite granitic intrusion, which is only very thinly overlain here by unconsolidated and poorly sorted Quaternary alluvium and glacial outwash deposits. All water extraction within this area is from wells that penetrate the granitic bedrock and source their water from fractures and joint systems within the bedrock itself. None of the water is derived from the thin blanket of alluvial material, which at best would only provide a very limited seasonal and entirely undependable supply. Based on the State's own definitions of Aquifers and Basins as published in the Department of Water Resources Bulletin 118, this granitic bedrock aquifer does not meet those definition, and is wholly separate and different from the deep alluvial aquifer of the greater Owens Valley Groundwater Basin (OVGB), and thus should not be included within the Bulletin 118 boundaries as drawn. Starlite Estates is one of the only wholly metered communities within the entire Owens Valley region and is fully monitored as to water extraction and usage. It is also entirely surrounded by U.S. Forest Service land so there is no likelihood of any further extraction occurring there, thus there would be no impact on ongoing sustainable management practices for the small area seeking exclusion. Any water that the greater OVGB does derive seasonally from the McGee Meadows area in runoff, both above and below ground, will continue to flow uninterrupted, just as it has, so that the OVGB's sustainability will be entirely unaffected by this boundary modification as well.
    • 6-012.01 OWENS VALLEY
  3. Neither addition nor change of basin name is required. What is proposed is to simply exclude approximately 1/2 square mile of area (the McGee Meadow pocket) from the over 1000 square miles of the Owens Valley Groundwater Basin (6-012.01).

C. Initial Notification and Combination of Requests

  1. Yes
    Local Agency Potential Basin(s)/Subbasin(s)
    Inyo County Water Department 6-012.01 OWENS VALLEY
    6-012.01 OWENS VALLEY
  2. No

D. Required Documents for All Modifications

Approval of this Boundary Modification will change nothing that would logically affect CEQA concerns, as the relocation of an artificial line on a map does not constitute any form of environmentally disruptive activity or project. Starlite Estates is one of the only fully metered water systems in the Eastern Sierra, and close monitoring and effective reporting will continue as it has in the past. Removing Starlite from being part of the Owens Valley Groundwater Basin (OVGB) will do nothing to change our water usage, nor in any discernible way impact the environment, the groundwater, the OVGB as a whole, nor any entity which is any part thereof.

E. General Information

The lateral boundaries of the Owens Valley alluvial aquifer are the same as currently described in Bulletin 118, with the exception that the McGee Meadow horseshoe shaped pocket of approximately 1/2 square mile area is to be removed from the greater Owens Valley Groundwater Basin by a line that closes off the open mouth of the horseshoe, forming a new boundary that intersects the original boundary line at approximately 37*_19'_9.9"N by -118*_31'_54.9"W, then bears about N 19* E to the sharp corner of the original boundary located near 37*_19'_51.2"N by -118*_31'_37"W.

F. Notice and Consultation

It should be noted that Starlite Community Services District, the requesting entity, is really the only agency that will be affected by this boundary modification request, and even then, only in the most minimally administrative way.
After a study of the list of local agencies held by the Inyo County Water Dept. that has been shared with the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority, we have determined that none are likely to be affected in any real way. Outreach was achieved by using standard public media outlets such as radio and newspaper notices and announcements, as well as public posting of a notice on our community bulletin board, and personal contacts to identify and seek out potentially interested parties, or to get the word out and have them seek us. Public meetings where there were large gatherings of all local peoples and entities with interests in local water issues (very common here due to long standing contention), where the matter was openly discussed and any interested party would have been informed, including Starlite CSD board meetings, Owens Valley Groundwater Authority meetings and Inyo County Board of Supervisors meetings, all of which had the topic listed on their agenda with appropriate lead times. All of the agencies and concerned entities in the local area are aware of this proposed boundary modification request, to the best of our knowledge.
Phone conversations, personal conversations, hand out sheets, Q&A at meetings, formal statements made, especially Inyo County Board of Supervisors, Owens Valley Groundwater Authority and Starlite CSD board meetings. We interviewed with a reporter who filed a news report that went on the air on a local radio station (KSRW 92.5 fm). A Public Notice posted in the local newspaper (Inyo Register) and a notice posted on our community bulletin board. The Inyo County Water Department was frequently consulted, to get boundary modification letters of support drafted, and Agenda Request Form filed to get this issue before the Inyo County Board of Supervisors and the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority. Two of the attachments were used both as handouts and to be read into the meeting minutes at the April 12, 2018 meeting of the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority, in order to get this issue on the agenda for the next meeting. These same handouts were used subsequently as information sheets for interested parties.
The idea that we were not geologically suited to be part of the Owens Valley Groundwater Basin was first broached at a Starlite CSD meeting in conjunction with deciding to look into the formation of the local GSA as covered in the 27 March, 2017 minutes. While often discussed at subsequent meetings it was usually just ancillary to the discussions of the GSA formation issues, and rarely made the minutes, not being an agenda item in its own right. During the formative meetings of trying to create the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority (OVGA), this issue of Starlite not properly belonging and looking for a way out, was discussed on many occasions, but again not an agenda item, so did not make the meeting minutes of those rather hectic and disorganized times, but they are referenced in Starlite's statement to be read into the record of the OVGA meeting of 12 April, 2018. The actual placement of the statement into the minutes was done to secure an agenda item for a vote, to get support for Starlite's attempt at a boundary modification from the OVGA at the next meeting. The topic was again brought before the Starlite CSD board for adoption as a formal resolution 11 June, 2018. The boundary modification request was then brought before the Inyo County Board of Supervisors in their meeting of 19 June, 2018 as shown by the agenda request form and letter of support.
There have been no comments received in writing other than letters of support from local agencies and the two from Starlite locals providing historical background and offering words of support. There have been numerous verbal comments received ... all supportive and favorable. Only responses offered to comments both written and verbal were a sincere THANKS!

H. Local Support

All requests for boundary modification must include the following:
This topic has been discussed repeatedly at numerous open public meetings, during the formation of the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority (OVGA), as well as formally brought before the OVGA after formation, as a properly agendized action item which was voted on only after an extensive Q&A session that included handouts, with the board and local agencies and the general public which was in attendance in goodly numbers, including representatives from LA/DWP, Federal, State and County Agencies, Indian Tribes, Mutual Water Companies, Environmental Groups, Businesses, and other concerned citizens. It has been discussed at several open public meetings of the Starlite CSD board, as well as properly agendized and discussed in open public meeting before the Inyo County Board of Supervisors. Radio announcements of this agenda item were aired on local stations in the days before, and at all such meetings handouts were available and a Starlite CSD representative was on hand answering any questions. A local radio station also aired a news report on the proposed boundary modification after interviewing a Starlite representative. A public notice of Starlite's intent to seek a boundary modification was carried in the local paper as well, including contact information. Personal conversations were held with many people representing many different agencies within the Owens Valley Groundwater Basin of a number too great to list. It would be a near miracle in this rather small and tight knit community, if anyone who might have an interest in this proposed boundary modification, did not hear about it in a timely fashion.
Inyo County, the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority (OVGA) and Starlite Community Services District have all resolved to support this Boundary Modification Request. It should be noted that the OVGA is duly formed and is moving to become the single Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) for the Owens Valley Groundwater Basin (OVGB), that it is composed of representatives from all of the GSA eligible agencies within the OVGB, including the four agencies that are currently holding GSA status over their individual portions of the OVGB, soon to be consolidated within the OVGA. Thus the support of the OVGA by unanimous vote represents support by the eleven (11) different agencies seated on that board. Also of note is that the unanimous support of the Inyo County Board of Supervisors was secured to a great extent due to the support of the Inyo County Water Department in recommending the measure and putting it before the Board.
There has been no opposition to this Boundary Modification Request.

I. Hydrogeologic Conceptual Model

Requests for boundary modification, must include a document or text to a clearly defined hydrogeologic conceptual model demonstrating each of the following:
The main attachment forms a summary of the differences between the Owens Valley alluvial aquifer and the Tungsten Hills quartz monzonite fractured granitic bedrock aquifer that we are seeking to have definitively separated from each other. The McGee Meadow and Starlite Estates never should have been included within the Owens Valley Groundwater Basin in the first place, for the Tungsten Hills are considered to act as a lateral boundary for the Owens Valley Groundwater Basin, and as McGee Meadow is in fact part and parcel as one with the Tungsten Hills, and is thus completely different from the valley's alluvium. Also of note is the great age of the water in Starlite's fractured granite aquifer (over 2,000 years), as compared to the young age of the water found in the nearest wells that are down gradient within the Owens Valley alluvial aquifer, as determined by the USGS / California State Water Resources Control Board joint GAMA Program study. Also attached below are the well logs for the three primary supply wells used by the Starlite water system, which clearly show that the water is extracted from depths well below any surface alluvium, and only from deeper within the fractured granitic bedrock itself.

J. Technical Studies for External Scientific Modifications

Requests for a scientific modification must include a document containing information that demonstrates the extent of the aquifer. Provide the following:
The Basin referred to here is the alluvial Owens Valley Groundwater Basin of over 1,000 square miles extent. What this request wishes to promote, is the removal of a small area of approximately 1/2 square mile from the western portion of the basin due to McGee Meadow not being any part of the Owens Valley alluvial basin, but rather a fractured granitic bedrock aquifer that has only a very thin, inconsequential covering of alluvium.
Starlite Estates and McGee Meadow having a fractured granitic bedrock aquifer, does not qualify under the State's definition of an alluvial aquifer. Therefore, this question does not properly pertain to Starlite nor its aquifer. However, the Owens Valley Groundwater Basin has an alluvial aquifer, and is properly referenced by the question above. Thus we suggest that Danskin would be an excellent reference that properly describes the Basin's relevant physical properties. Please reference our full analysis of Starlite and its aquifer's true situation, as attached below.
Created on 06/11/2018 at 12:19PM, last modified on 10/26/2018 at 12:20PM and page generated on 07/12/2024 at 5:06AM