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Ripon OKs groundwater JPA with SSJID, Escalon
water tower
One of Ripon's two water towers.

The City of Ripon is now part of the South San Joaquin Groundwater Sustainable Agency.

The Ripon City Council recently approved the Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement, partnering with the South San Joaquin Irrigation District and City of Escalon.

“The State requires we provide groundwater sustainability,” said City Administrator Kevin Werner on the Groundwater Sustainability Agency as a Joint Powers Authority at the May 12 meeting.

The benefits of converting to a JPA, according to his report, include:

· A formalized governance structure with clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and costs.

· Separately accounted finances (i.e. checking account, insurance considerations, audits, etc.).

· Ability to exercise more fully the powers granted to GSAs by SGMA as a JPA versus the limited scope of the Memorandum of Agreement.

· Isolation of risks associated with the actions carried out by the SSJGSA as a separate legal entity.

· Efficiencies and economies of scale by continuing to build on the success of the SSJGSA into the next phase of GSP implementation.  

The SSJGSA was formed via a Memorandum of Agreement involving the cities of Escalon and Ripon, and SSJID.

“The JPA is a five-member board,” Werner said. “Most items would need a majority vote approval – some would require super majority approval.”

He added that the forming of this agency would make it both its own entity with its own accountability.

SSJID Water Resources Coordinator Brandon Nakagawa chimed in via email, saying: “SSJID would like to extended its appreciation to the Council and staff for their continued partnership and support in dealing with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with the City of Ripon and the City of Escalon.”