Onyx Ranch

Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District Onyx Ranch Project

 

Onyx-Ranch

Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District (“Rosedale”) contracts with the state of California for a water supply from the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta (“Delta”).   While we pay for 100% of the water contracted, nearly $3 million per year, we receive on average only 60% of the water.  In an effort to ensure stable sources of water supply, Rosedale has developed a series of projects intended to acquire additional water at a reduced overall cost.

 

One project is the purchase of 3,300 acres of property (commonly referred to as the Onyx Ranch) east of Lake Isabella in order to acquire certain water rights associated with the property (“Onyx Project”).  The Onyx Project brings together willing sellers of private property in the Kern River Valley and landowners in Rosedale to ensure a continued beneficial use of the water within Kern County and to mitigate water lost as a result of environmental restrictions in the Delta.

 

WHY DO WE NEED THIS PROJECT?

 

Rosedale is seeking to replace water lost from its contracted supply in the Delta.   The Onyx Project provides a cost-effective means to acquire a water right, which is perpetual, not just a contracted water supply with a limited term.

 

Continued reliance upon the Delta for water in Kern County is risky as environmental restrictions are expected to further reduce our ability to move water through the Delta.  Delta water supply projects considered by Rosedale and others in Kern County have the following challenges:

  1. They rely upon the Delta which has experienced significant regulatory and legal restrictions on water exports.
  2. They are contracted supplies with fixed terms of typically 30-50 years (less certain for the long-term).
  3. They are significantly more expensive!

 

Most importantly, this project will yield more water at less cost than any Delta alternative currently available.  The Onyx Project will help Rosedale maintain one of the lowest water rates in Kern County and serve thousands of families and family farms.

 

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

 

Rosedale was formed in 1959 by landowners for the purpose of construction and operation of a water recharge project.  All members of the Board of Directors are farmers or ranchers themselves and are elected by the landowners of more than 9,800 parcels residing in the district. Nearly all of Rosedale’s water supplies are recharged into the groundwater aquifer.  By replenishing the aquifer, Rosedale is able to stabilize levels and reduce the pumping costs and protect Kern County’s water supply.

 

HOW WILL THIS PROJECT IMPACT THE ENVIRONMENT?

 

The project is on previously disturbed land, actively being used for agriculture and grazing and some of those uses will continue. The property is near the Kern River Preserve, which is land that is managed by Audubon California for the preservation of one of California’s largest contiguous cottonwood-willow riparian forests and the wildlife it supports. As part of the environmental review process, a qualified biologist will be 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. Public comment and inquiry is encouraged throughout this review process.

 

WILL ANY OF THIS WATER BE SOLD OUTSIDE OF KERN COUNTY?

 

No.  Rosedale will utilize the water supplies for the exclusive benefit of water users in Kern County.

For more information contact Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District:  661.589.6045 or visit www.onyxranch.org

onyx



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