DWR Facilitation

 

DWR Facilitation Services

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) offers Facilitation Support Services (FSS) to help Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) and local water management groups foster discussions among diverse water management interests and jurisdictions in support of Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) implementation. Through the FSS Program, the Indian Wells Valley Water District (IWVWD) requested professional facilitation to support the basin in discussing challenges related to SGMA, the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP), and the multiple related lawsuits that have been filed, and to assist the community to understand and clarify the issues being faced in order to help discussions focus on constructive solutions moving forward. Stantec is a neutral third-party facilitator working on behalf of DWR in the Indian Wells Valley basin to gather input and guidance from local stakeholders to identify and clarify the challenges being faced related to local groundwater management.

As part of the FSS process, a Planning Committee was formed to support the development of a Work Plan that will assist the basin stakeholders in exploring issues and concerns related to groundwater management in the basin. Members of the Planning Committee serve at the pleasure of the IWVWD and were selected based on the member organization’s interest and recommendations. The following organizations make up membership on the Planning Committee:

  • United States Navy
  • Indian Wells Valley Water District
  • Searles Valley Minerals
  • Mojave Pistachios
  • Meadowbrook Dairy

 

Indian Wells Valley Planning Committee Work Plan

(click here to view the plan)

The Work Plan timeline consists of three key tasks:

  1. Process Initiation (April 2022 – May 2022)
  • Committee formation and facilitation
  1. Stakeholder Assessment (May 2022 – July 2022)
  • 15 one-on-one or small group interviews
  • Online survey
  1. Public Meetings (July 2022 – December 2022)
  • Committee meetings, public workshops, and presentations
  • This task is optional and will only proceed with the facilitator’s recommendation

Task 1 of the Work Plan (Process Initiation) has already been completed. The Planning Committee was formed, and a Work Plan was created to help define committee goals and decision-making processes. A public meeting was held on May 17th to share the Work Plan and give updates on recent milestones in the FSS process. With the completion of Task 1, the Work Plan will now move onto Task 2 which consists of a stakeholder assessment. The purpose of a stakeholder assessment is to evaluate the needs and conditions of a project as they relate to stakeholders and community, identify any non-technical risks, and determine the best engagement techniques for the circumstances.

A stakeholder assessment is intended to gather key information on following questions concerning stakeholders:

  • Who are they? (Citizen, Partner, Provider, Regulator)
  • What do they care about?
  • Who are their trusted messengers?
  • What are the best ways (how) to connect with them?
  • When should we talk to them / sensitivity?
  • What do we need to know from them?

For this FSS Program, the stakeholder assessment will consist of 15-20 one-on-one or small group interviews and an online survey open to all members of the community. A link to the online survey can be found at the top of this page. The survey will allow members of the community to provide feedback on the local groundwater management challenges being faced and provide input on the potential options the basin should consider moving forward.

 

May 17, 2022 Presentations

On May 17, 2022, the Indian Wells Valley Water District hosted a public meeting to share information about the Department of Water Resources (DWR) Facilitation Support Services (FSS) program and to present the DWR Facilitation Support Services Planning Committee Work Plan and answer questions related to the work plan. During the meeting, DWR staff also provided an overview of the DWR Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) Evaluation Process and Expectations for Sustainable Groundwater Management (SGMA) implementation and responded to questions from meeting participants. The PowerPoint presentations and the meeting recording can be found by accessing the links below:

Facilitation IntroductionSGMA Overview Presentation by DWR

You may view the meeting on YouTube here.