James Project

James Groundwater Storage and Recovery Project (at McAllister Ranch)

 

Water-Management-James-Project

The James Groundwater Storage and Recovery Project is a proposed 2,070 acre project in southwest Bakersfield designed to recharge, store and recover water to provide a cost-effective and reliable water supply for landowners within the Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District (“Rosedale”).  The project water would help provide an affordable and reliable water supply to approximately 25,000 acres of irrigated agriculture and over 10,000 residents within Rosedale.

 

The project property, known locally as McAllister Ranch, was formerly a planned residential development that was in the early stages of construction. Due to the downturn in the real estate market and project financing issues, development was discontinued and the property sat idle for several years until it was sold in a bankruptcy proceeding.  Rosedale and Buena Vista Water Storage District jointly purchase the property in 2011.

 

WHY DO WE NEED THIS GROUNDWATER BANKING PROJECT?

 

Water is a critical resource and Kern County, like many other areas of the state, is continually challenged with procuring a clean, reliable water supply in sufficient quantity to provide for our residential, agricultural and municipal water needs.

 

This project has the potential to recharge up to 150,000 acre feet of water in wet years. This quantity of water is nearly double the total urban and agricultural demands within Rosedale in a given year.

 

One acre-foot of water is the amount of water typically used by two families of four in Kern County.   Three acre-feet of water is typically required for each acre of irrigated agriculture.

 

In addition, the James Groundwater Storage and Recovery Project will allow Rosedale to maintain one of the lowest water rates in Kern County.

 

WHAT IS THE BACKGROUND & EXPERIENCE OF THE DEVELOPERS OF THIS PROJECT?

 

Rosedale has provided over 50 years of water supply, management, and service to the landowners within its service area.  Each member of the Board of Directors is elected by the landowners residing in their respective districts and has demonstrated a long-standing track record of procuring and preserving Kern County’s water supply.

 

HOW WILL THIS PROJECT IMPACT THE ENVIRONMENT?

 

The project is on previously disturbed land, with some portions being actively used for agriculture. Because the prior intended use of the property was primarily commercial and residential development, the proposed Project will have a significantly reduced environmental impact.  As part of the environmental review process, a qualified biologist has been retained to conduct assessments on site and the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) will fully discuss any mitigation measures needed to address potential effects of the project on sensitive cultural and biological resources.

 

WILL THIS BANKED GROUNDWATER BE SOLD OUTSIDE OF KERN COUNTY?

 

Rosedale will utilize the stored groundwater for the exclusive benefit of water users in Kern County.

 

WILL HOUSES STILL BE BUILT AT “McALLISTER RANCH”?

 

The Bakersfield housing market has experienced a severe downturn in recent years; however, there remains an interest from the homebuilding community in developing a portion of the property for residential use.  Rosedale supports a mixed use approach for the property and intends on building upon the successful integration of groundwater recharge facilities with urban development, as seen in the Rosedale Allen Road Ponds and the City of Bakersfield’s 2800 acre project.

 

WHAT IS NEXT?

 

As landowners in the Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District, you will have the opportunity to voice your support for this project in the very near future. Public comments will be welcomed as part of the environmental review process and we will keep you apprised of those opportunities. Your support is critical to making sure that your water costs remain low and more water is available in the future.

 

james



Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District | Bakersfield, California | Phone 661-589-6045