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Groundwater Sustainability Meeting
updated: Mar 10, 2017, 3:45 PM

By Charles Spraggins of Save Our Water Ventura

Ventura County Supervisors found a way to salvage a proposal for a new Groundwater Sustainability Agency in the Fillmore-Piru basins. A proposal brought forward by Supervisor Long was found to be legally defective by the County Counsel. In addition to the legal defect, Supervisor Long did not want to include environmentalists on the new
Board of the groundwater sustainability agency. But Supervisor Bennett nsisted that the Board have balance between "pumpers" (agriculture) and environmentalists. The public hearing lasted for many hours. However, a short nine minute summary video can be seen at the following link:

https://youtu.be/O1oHen2bllc

In a study by the OECD, dated June 13, 2013, PRINCIPLES FOR THE GOVERNANCE OF REGULATORS,  they set forth the following model for independent decision making - in order to reduce possibility of conflict of interest::  "To avoid conflicts of interest, where there is a need for formal representation of specific stakeholders in strategic
decision-making, stakeholder engagement mechanisms such as an advisory or consultative committee should be established, rather than making those stakeholders members of the regulator's governing body."

Thus, one might argue that it is questionable whether the pumpers should have a seat on the GSA Board since they have a conflict of interest. Putting pumpers on the GSA Board may be like "appointing the fox to guard the chicken coop."

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