Corte Madera, CA                                                                                   January 2011
The Inside Source is produced by Marin Municipal Water District to inform local decisionmakers and opinion leaders on issues affecting Marin's water, people, and environment.

Climate Change and Compensation Committees
Jack Gibson New Board President
Reservoirs Reach Capacity
New Water Conservation Ordinance
Lagunitas Creek Stewardship Plan
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MMWD Board of Directors
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Public Meetings


Wed., Feb. 2, 7:30 pm
Board Room

Wed., Feb. 16, 7:30 pm
Board Room


MMWD will be installing three barges in Alpine Lake as part of a project designed to yield more water from the reservoir system in times of drought. In order to accomplish this work, the Fairfax-Bolinas Road will be closed in each direction between Azalea Hill and Ridgecrest Boulevard from January 24 - 28, 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. The closure applies to all motorized vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.


The barges will support two 200-hp vertical turbine pumps and a valve manifold for the pumps. The pumps will replace an aging 400-hp submersible pump that transfers water from Alpine Lake to Bon Tempe Lake from where it can be sent to the Bon Tempe Treatment Plant. The new barge-mounted pumps will be installed in a deeper part of the lake, allowing the district to draw from water that is currently inaccessible.


Click here for a map of the area to be closed and alternate routes.


At the January 19 board meeting the MMWD Board of Directors approved establishing two new board committees to cover items not clearly addressed by existing committees--a Climate Change Committee and a Compensation Committee.


The Climate Change Committee will consider MMWD's potential vulnerability to the effects of climate change on its operations and water supply. The committee will investigate the current state of climate science and help the district understand what that science tells us--and doesn't tell us-- about factors such as sea level rise, precipitation, temperature and climate variability. The committee will investigate how changes in these factors may affect the district in the short and long term and may also evaluate potential adaptation responses that should be considered by the full board.

The Compensation Committee will review employee salary and benefit issues, including retirement plans and health benefits. The committee will analyze various options for improving MMWD's salary and benefit programs, including identifying mechanisms to reduce MMWD's unfunded liabilities for employee benefits. Members of the committee may also participate in countywide or statewide activities on these topics, such as the newly-formed committee on benefits formed by the Marin County Council of Mayors and Councilmembers.


At the January 5 board meeting Director Jack Gibson was elected president of the MMWD Board of Directors, taking over from outgoing president Director David Behar. Jack was first elected to the MMWD board in 1994 and represents MMWD Division I, which comprises Marinda Oaks in Fairfax, the northerly Portion of Sleepy Hollow, Northgate, Terra Linda, Santa Venetia, Marinwood, Lucas Valley, Hamilton Field, Oak Manor and a portion of San Anselmo. (Click here
to view the 2011 meeting schedule.)

Cynthia Koehler, a board member since 2004, is the new vice president. Offices are held for a one-year term and are rotated among the five members. Board terms are four years.

Board President Gibson appointed board members to each of the following committees for 2011:

District Operations Committee: Larry Russell, chair; Cynthia Koehler, vice chair
Watershed Committee: Armando Quintero, chair; Larry Russell, vice chair
Finance Committee: David Behar, chair; Jack Gibson, vice chair
Compensation Committee: Larry Russell, chair; Jack Gibson, vice chair

Communications Committee: Jack Gibson, chair; David Behar, vice chair
Climate Change Committee: David Behar, chair; Larry Russell, vice chair
Conservation Action Committee: Larry Russell and Cynthia Koehler
Lagunitas Creek Technical Advisory Committee: David Behar and Cynthia Koehler


On December 29, water began flowing over the spillway at Kent Lake, as the district's seven water-supply reservoirs reached 100 percent capacity. This is only the third time in 20 years that the reservoirs have reached capacity in December. The other years were 1996 and 2005.

As of January 16, the reservoirs were still at capacity--130 percent of the average storage for that date. Historically, the reservoirs have averaged about 77 percent capacity at this time of year. Last year, the reservoirs were only 58 percent full at this time, although spring rains managed to top them off by early April. Total combined capacity of the district's reservoirs is 79,566 acre-feet.*

Despite recent drier weather, we're still ahead of the curve in terms of rainfall. Since July 1, rainfall at Lake Lagunitas has measured 31.59 inches, compared to 18.97 inches last year and an average of 25.01 for this time of year. Average annual rainfall at Lake Lagunitas is about 53 inches.


Current water use and reservoir figures can be found on the homepage of our website.

 *One acre-foot is 325,851 gallons.   


At the January 5 board meeting, MMWD's Board of Directors adopted Water Conservation Ordinance 421, updating the section of the district's code that defines water conservation regulations for all customers.


The new code ensures that the district is in compliance with the state-mandated California Green Building Standards (CALGreen) that went into effect January 1. The updates also streamline the district's water waste prevention program to conserve water and reduce polluted runoff that can harm local creeks and the Bay.


Among the changes are updates to the district's plan review requirements for new and rehabilitated landscapes. We invite agency staff and landscape professionals to join us for an informational workshop on the new requirements:


February 2, 8:30 -  11:30 a.m. or

February 24, 12:30 -  3:30 p.m.
MMWD Board Room, 220 Nellen Avenue, Corte Madera
RSVP: 945-1512 or wmenara@marinwater.org


MMWD's new Lagunitas Creek Stewardship Plan is available as a draft for public review and comment. The plan addresses actions to be taken by MMWD over the next ten years to manage the habitat of Lagunitas Creek for the benefit of the aquatic resource populations of coho salmon, steelhead trout and California freshwater shrimp.


MMWD recently completed a 12-year, nearly $8-million creek enhancement effort under an agreement with the State of California to mitigate the impacts of water diversions on Lagunitas Creek, which begins on Mt. Tamalpais on land owned by MMWD. The creek and its tributaries feed into district reservoirs, which provide drinking water for 195,000 residents of Marin County.


The new plan resets the district's course of action for the future and lays out a comprehensive strategy for continued compliance with stream flow and other ongoing requirements; continued habitat enhancement projects; invasive species management; monitoring and reporting programs; and collaboration and outreach.


The public review draft Lagunitas Creek Stewardship Plan is available here

We welcome your comments and need your help raising awareness about water in Marin.  Please share this information with your members and constituents. Thank you!

Libby Pischel, Public Information Officer
Marin Municipal Water District
(415) 945-1421