Ventura River Ecosystem: City plans threaten aquifers
Today, while the 'Sustainability Council' was taking public comment on how to indefinitely continue the current growth rate in Ventura County, the City of Ventura was planning to certify another EIR to facilitate urbanization of some of the last agricultural lands within the city. A very telling letter from County water managers states, "We have reviewed the City's 2008 Biennial Water Supply Study (2008 Supply Report). We believe some of the assumptions may be flawed, and thus its predictions for future water supply may be overestimated."
I sent the following letter to city council:To: Ventura City CouncilSUBJECT: Agenda Item #16 Saticoy and Wells Development Code and FinalEIR: Addenda/ErrataRE: FURTHER COMMENTS ON CITY OF VENTURA'S PLANNED ADOPTIONOF THE SATICOY & WELLS COMMUNITY PLAN, DEVELOPMENT CODE ANDREVIEW OF PROPOSED FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT (MP-152, Z-934. AO-233, EIR 2473)It has come to our attention that the Fox Canyon Groundwater ManagementAgency (FCGMA) has raised significant issues relating to the Saticoy & WellsCommunity Plan EIR. The FCGMA letter highlights key factors in the long-termsustainability of the city’s water supply. These issues are not adequatelyaddressed in the EIR.As outlined by FCGMA water managers, cumulative impacts from a drought will(a) overdraft local aquifers causing saltwater intrusion, and (b) dry up thelower Ventura River, critical habitat for the endangered southern steelhead.The city is mistakenly seeking additional water supplies from new wells atSaticoy and Foster Park to provide for increased urban growth. The city is alsomistaken in its bid to maintain the status quo at the wastewater treatment plantand delay modernization of outdated urban infrastructure such as storm drains,both of which could provide additional sources of water. Integrated WaterManagement should be a priority if the city wants to continue growth with theseuncertain water supplies.I urge you to ask the right questions, and be aware of the implications of today’sdecision.