The Tehachapi-Cummings County Water District has called a special meeting with its board of directors to discuss the opportunity of becoming the lead agency for two major projects within in its boundaries.
The first is a water conservation program and the second is to partner with the City of Tehachapi in a pipeline project south of Tehachapi Blvd.
In 2002, the state of California organized its grant funding around the concept of Integrated Regional Water Management, a collaborative effort to manage all aspects of water resources in a region, made up of 11 distinct hydrologic regions. The district is one five Integrated Regional Water Management Plan agencies for the Kern County portion of the Tulare Lake Basin region.
Passed in 2006, Proposition 84 provides $60 million in grant funding administered by the Department of Water Resources, which $8.7 million in grants are still available in the second round of funding for this year.
The Kern County IRWMP Executive Committee has selected a slate of projects to be included.
District General Manager John Martin said there are several other projects on the “short list” for funding, but none of the sponsoring agencies is willing to be the lead agency for the whole group.
According to the grant instructions, DWR will sign only one contract with only one agency for each IRWMP.
"So, one of the agencies putting forth a project for funding in our Kern County area must step up and be the contract agency for the whole group," Martin said. "Since there are two projects in the list for the Tehachapi area, they have asked the district to consider being the lead agency."
Martin said he is still gathering information as to what the process commits the district to, and hopes to have answers in time for the board’s consideration on Thursday.
The meeting will be held on Feb. 7 at 9 a.m., 22901 Banducci Rd.